Anthony Smith doesn’t think Jon Jones owes anyone anything amid Tom Aspinall’s call to have UFC champion stripped

By Fernando Quiles - December 7, 2023

Anthony Smith doesn’t feel Jon Jones should be stripped of the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

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Interim titleholder Tom Aspinall has been calling for Jones to vacate the gold due to suffering a torn pectoral muscle, which forced his planned title defense against Stipe Miocic off the UFC 295 card. Aspinall ended up knocking out Sergei Pavlovich in just over one minute to lay claim to the interim gold.


Anthony Smith Not Onboard With Idea Of Jon Jones Being Stripped Of UFC Gold

Speaking to media members during fight week for UFC Vegas 83, Anthony Smith made it clear that he feels Jon Jones has earned the right to have that legacy bout with Stipe Miocic (h/t

“You all know how I feel about Jon Jones,” Smith said during UFC Vegas 83 media day. “I hate when you guys ask me questions where I have to say nice things about him. Jon Jones can do whatever the f*** he wants. Really. He’s earned that. 

“He’s not been known as a guy that pulls out of fights. For whatever anybody says about him, he’s never strayed from a challenge. He’s always taken on the next best guy. I think in terms of him and Stipe, I think both those guys should be able to do whatever they want. I think that they’ve earned it. I think they deserve it.”

UFC CEO Dana White has said the plan remains to book Jones vs. Miocic. Whatever the winner decides to do next, that’s when the UFC will move forward with plans. It’s an interesting situation, as a scenario could play out where both Jones and Miocic decide to walk away from the sport.

As for Smith, he will be in action this weekend. He’ll be stepping in on short notice to take on Khalil Rountree in the UFC Vegas 83 co-main event on December 9. He’s hoping to put together a winning streak for the first time since 2021.


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