“Active HWT champion” – UFC Legend snubs Jon Jones crowning Tom Aspinall as the heavyweight champion of the UFC
Chael Sonnen declares newly minted interim Champion Tom Aspinall as the true and active champion.
Chael Sonnen chooses Tom Aspinall over Jon Jones as true champion (Source: Twitter/ IMAGO)
UFC fighter Tom Aspinall captured the interim heavyweight title at UFC 295 this month. The Brit squared off against Sergei Pavlovich and emerged victorious with a 69-second knockout. The match was a short-notice replacement to that of the headlining bout of Jon Jones. Heavyweight Jones incurred a pectoral muscle injury, in the lead-up to his fight with Stipe Miocic.
Hence, he had to pull out. But the promotion wasted no time in replacing the failed bout with the interim prospective fight. Chael Sonnen, the UFC veteran, has weighed in on the situation. Taking to X, he refuted Jones’ champion status because of the injury. In not so many words, he declared Aspinall as the clear and active champion. He wrote:
Tom Aspinall is Active HWT Champion of the UFC.
Fresh off the heels of UFC 295, Sonnen had also declared Aspinall the UFC Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, on an episode of Beyond the Fight. Conversely, after the injury Sonnen had advised Jones to nitpick better and younger elite fighters such as Aspinall, solely to avoid the narrative of ducking fighters. On his YouTube channel, he had said:
There is not a scenario where Jon Jones, regardless of success or victories, there is not a scenario that when he leaves this sport a narrative of, 'He left without fighting that guy,' doesn't exist. Right now, that guy's Tom Aspinall, but one week ago it was Sergei Pavlovich, and eight days before that it was Francis Ngannou. So, the only constant denominator that you have to know if you're Jon is you're never gonna beat that headline, don't even try. Fight the easiest guy for the most money and do it every time.
Additionally, Aspinall called for Jones to vacate the heavyweight title so the division could move on. He said as a newly minted champion, he does not want to wait for 18 months for a victor to emerge. Instead, he wants to fight Miocic next; and Jones when he recovers.
Tom Aspinall prompts Jon Jones to relinquish the heavyweight title
Tom Aspinall, the new interim champion, is not satisfied with the state of affairs, in-promotion. The English fighter captured the title at UFC 295 recently, with a spectacular first-round knockout. This bout was a replacement for Jon Jones’ original matchup. Jones, who incurred a pectoral tear during training, had to undergo surgery.
Aspinall believes that Jones should have been stripped of the belt; which is the expected mandate for any fighter in injury. He is also not a vivid fan of the matchup between Jones and Miocic.
In a recent interview with Michael Bisping, Aspinall delved into the same along with his father, Andy Aspinall. He expressed that his 69-second KO should have been for a vacant title. Instead of a stated unification bout, Jones is still yet to face his original opponent, Stipe Miocic, upon recovery. Aspinall said:
I think Jon Jones should be stripped from the title to be honest, because everyone else does when they get injured like that. I don’t see why he’s still got it. I don’t understand that. I think I should be the real champion right now.
Aspinall is also of the opinion that by the time the fighter recovers, things will be a lot different. The hype around rebooking the original matchup would have died down even further. So instead, Aspinall wishes for a face-off with Miocic, and then with Jones when he recovers.
In case you missed it:
- “Didn’t really train at all,” Tom Aspinall reveals struggling with back Injury before illustrious KO win over Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295
- “Finish him in second or third round,” Belal Muhammad makes BOLD prediction for Sergei Pavlovich vs. Tom Aspinall heavyweight showdown at UFC 295