Ariel Helwani Explains Why Jon Jones vs. Tom Aspinall Should Be Next

Helwani believes Aspinall vs. Jones determines the best heavyweight.

Ariel Helwani
Screenshot: The MMA Hour

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani doesn’t think the UFC should make Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic next.

In the co-main event of UFC 295 on Saturday, Tom Aspinall became the interim heavyweight champion with a first-round knockout win over Sergei Pavlovich. Although Aspinall won the interim title, Dana White is adamant that Jones and Miocic will be next, which Helwani isn’t a fan of.

Instead, Helwani explained why he wants to see Aspinall vs. Jones next and thinks it could sell out a stadium.

“I feel at this juncture, the biggest fight that the UFC can make in the heavyweight division is Tom Aspal versus Jon Jones. If they want to get crazy and do it in Wembley, amazing, if they want to get crazy and do it in Manchester, amazing,” Helwani said on The MMA Hour. “They want to do it in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, amazing. That’s the fight I want to see, this is no knock on Stipe but I just feel like, it feels like a legends fight. That’s why I felt that this fight on Saturday should have been for the vacant title.

“Stipe Miocic vs. Jon Jones doesn’t need a belt attached to it. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times, that fight is not to determine who the best heavyweight is in the world. You can’t have that discussion without Tom Aspinall,” Helwani continued.

Helwani doesn’t like Aspinall in limbo

Part of the reason why Ariel Helwani also wants to see Tom Aspinall vs. Jon Jones next is because it puts the Brit in limbo.

With Jones still needing months of rehab for his torn pec, he likely won’t be able to return until the end of the summer at the earliest. Then, he likely will need a few months after his fight against Stipe Miocic, which means Aspinall may not get a chance to fight for the undisputed title until 2025.

“This thing now that they are going to do a heavyweight title fight between Jon and Stipe, somewhat more diminishing the interim title fight and Tom is just going to wait on the sidelines until that is over? The winner is going to be ready in December or January, they don’t turn around quickly. It’s a mess of a situation. In my world, in my eyes, the champion is Tom Aspinall,” Helwani added.

Published on November 14, 2023 at 10:26 am
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