Jon Jones is expected to make his UFC heavyweight debut this year and Tom Aspinall is not sure why it has taken so long.
Aspinall is set to headline UFC London this week and shared some thoughts on Jones, the former light-heavyweight champ who hasn’t fought since 2020 for a variety of reasons.
Aspinall took a shot at Jones for being active on social media talking about his plans but not getting in the octagon.
“He seems to be doing a lot of talking on Twitter, but there doesn’t seem to be any action behind it at the moment,” Aspinall told Helen Yee in a one-on-one interview. “I don’t know why that is, I don’t know if it’s money issues or contract issues or whatever, but for some reason, it just doesn’t seem to be happening.”
When he does return, Jones is expected to slide right into the title shot conversation due to his Hall of Fame resume. As the No. 11 ranked contender in the division, Aspinall is excited to see what he can do, althought he thinks Jones will have a hard time with the extra weight.
“I would love to see Jon Jones at heavyweight. I would be so interested to see [it], especially because in his last couple of fights, he’s not looked amazing,” Aspinall said. “So I would like to see how he looks with a little bit of extra weight on his frame. I’d be very interested as a heavyweight myself.”
Jones Expected to Get Title Shot Out of the Gate
The UFC has some work to do to figure out what happens in the heavyweight division over the next year. Current champ Francis Ngannou is in a contract dispute and is scheduled for major knee surgery that will keep him out for at least nine months.
With Ngannou on the sidelined for such an extended period of time, there will likely be an interim champ crowned. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto predicts that Jones will be a factor in that.
I believe Jones wants to fight this year after taking all of 2021 off. And I believe his first appearance at heavyweight will be with a title on the line, and rightly so — Jones is the most dominant light heavyweight champion in UFC history, and he has a strong case to make as the greatest MMA fighter of all time. As of right now, the most likely scenario is Jones vs. Stipe Miocic at some point in 2022 for an interim title. Or, if things go south with Ngannou’s contract negotiations, Jones-Miocic for the undisputed belt.
Aspinall Wants to be a ‘Secret’ for Heavyweight Division
Aspinall is 11-2 in his MMA career and has won all four of his fights in the UFC inside the distance. He gets a very game opponent in veteran Alexander Volkov in the main event of UFC London but enters the matchup very confident.
“Biggest test of my career by far, I’m completely aware of that,” Aspinall told reporters at UFC London media day. “I would like to keep myself a secret for as long as possible. These Heavyweights think they know stuff about me, they don’t know s–t about me. They don’t know nothing about me. They’ve seen this much of my game. So anybody out there who thinks they know what my game is, they don’t know nothing.”
“If I can finish him in 30 seconds, I will. But I would also like to do five. I’m not really bothered either way.”
Aspinal is a slight -130 favorite for the scrap with Volkov, which will take place at O2 Arena in London on Saturday.