Tom Aspinall reveals Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic was originally viewed by UFC as double retirement fight: “Vacant title anyway”

By Josh Evanoff - October 25, 2023

Tom Aspinall has revealed that he expected to fight for a title regardless of Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic’s cancelation.

As Dana White revealed last night, ‘Bones’ is now out of UFC 295. Jon Jones was originally slated to headline the card against Stipe Miocic in his first heavyweight title defense. Instead, fans will get to see Tom Aspinall vs. Sergei Pavlovich in the co-main event, as they will battle for interim gold.

However, the British fighter was probably going to fight for gold anyway. On The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Tom Aspinall reacted to Jon Jones’ withdrawal against Stipe Miocic. There, he revealed that the UFC was already looking at a potential vacant heavyweight title bout in early 2024.

The reasoning is obvious, both Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic have publically discussed retirement. With the current champion approaching his 40s, and the former already being there, the UFC was already looking to the future. According to Tom Aspinall, he was likely going to fight for gold anyway.


Tom Aspinall

“I saw sworn to secrecy a little bit,” Tom Aspinall stated on The MMA Hour following the cancelation of Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic. “So the original plan was kind of, those two guys were going to fight, and Sergei was the backup. Then, they were kind of under the impression both guys were going to retire afterward. They were going to wait and see how that played out a little bit.”

He continued, “If they both were going to retire, I was going to fight Pavlovich for the vacant title anyway. Like, early next year anyways. So I think they were just going to wait and see what happens after this card anyway. It was just a big waiting game for me.”

What do you make of this news about Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic? Are you excited for Tom Aspinall’s return at UFC 295?