“The part that you’re wrong,” UFC Legend claims Tom Aspinall’s interim crown is not undisputed as Jon Jones’ return holds the key

Chael Sonnen believes the "champion" status for interim entrant Tom Aspinall overall, holds true as long as Jon Jones is absent

“The part that you’re wrong,” UFC Legend claims Tom Aspinall’s interim crown is not undisputed as Jon Jones’ return holds the key

Chael Sonnen weighs in on championship validity, between Jon Jones and Tom Aspinall (Source: Twitter/UFC/IMAGO)

Tom Aspinall became the third British UFC champion in history, defeating Russian strongman Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295. The Briton thus went on to win the interim heavyweight title, with a spectacular 69-second KO. The match was a late setup after heavyweight Jon Jones suffered a pectoral tear. The promotion wasted no time and correspondingly announced the short-notice fight.

Recently, UFC legend Chael Sonnen weighed in on Aspinall being the true and active heavyweight champion, in Jones’ absence. In a recent video. he deliberated on the same. In a recent episode of “Beyond the Fight” on his YouTube channel, Sonnen touched bases on the topic. Sonnen mentioned:

...Two guys, both with belts; going out there to fight. That's the part where you are wrong. Tom Aspinall is the champion. But you gotta understand - the moment that Jon Jones fights, the moment they ring that bell. Not when they ring that bell; not when he returns. Not when he gets license. not when they sign a contract, not when they have a venue, not when they have an announcement!...The door is shut and the bell rings, and in that moment, there is no longer and in between. There is no longer a "for now". Our champion is back! Which means you interim champion is no longer champion.

Sonnen hinted at Jones’ return being the vital aspect is Aspinall’s tenure and validity as champion. He thinks that unless they fight next, the conceptualization of an “interim” champion becomes null. With Jones returning after recovery, it marks the return of the champion status itself. Thus, Aspinall holding the gold would be a moot point, markedly.

Following the same motivation, Aspinall had wished for Jones to be stripped of his title. Which is unquestionably the mandate, following a long-term injury. CEO Dana White estimated the timetable for Jones’ return to succeed 8 months; 6-9 month recovery being typical for a torn pectoral muscle. Fortunately, Jones underwent surgery relatively quickly, after the injury.

Tom Aspinall declares that Georges St-Pierre is what he aspires to be like

Interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall secured the gold this month. Going against Sergei Pavlovich, he won the matchup with a first-round knockout. Before the UFC 295 bout, Aspinall was motivated with messages from many personalities.


Inclusive of the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Georges St-Pierre, and many others. Now, winning the title thereupon, Aspinall reflects on his goals to be like St-Pierre.

Tom Aspinall names Georges St-Pierre as the endgame
Tom Aspinall names Georges St-Pierre as the endgame (Twitter/mirror.co.uk)

Back in the day, St-Pierre was a sensation within the combative sports sphere. The 26-2-0 middleweight sensation is most often, and anonymously considered the “greatest of all time”. Presently, other names in the mix include Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson, and lately, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Speaking to The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani, Aspinall said:

Of course he’s No. 1, who else is it gonna be? This is what I think: To be the greatest of all time, this is gonna sound like madness, but GSP first of all did it in two weight divisions. Also, GSP had some bad losses and came back. To me, that is a sign of a real champion.

Speaking in the broader sense and terms, he also commended Stipe Miocic. Aspinall divulged that he is opinionated to consider Miocic as the greatest heavyweight of all time. Miocic was to face Jones at UFC 295, for a heavyweight bout. The match however fell through with Jones’ injury.


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