Jon Jones Passes on Tom Aspinall, Eyes Historic Showdown with Alex Pereira

Champ reveals why he favors Pereira over Aspinall.

Jon Jones Talks Alex Pereira
Jon Jones Talks Alex Pereira - Image credit @alexpoatanpereira @jonnybones Instagram

Is Stipe Miocic Jon Jones’ last foe? The UFC Heavyweight Champion, at 36, faces retirement queries. Will he exit on a high note? While a rematch with Miocic hints at a fitting end, attention turns to Tom Aspinall. Since claiming the interim title at UFC 295, he’s eager for a showdown with Jones.

But it’s not Aspinall who piques Jones’ interest for a final showdown after Miocic. Instead, Jones has his eyes on another contender for the heavyweight crown.

Jones Prioritizes Pereira Over Aspinall for Potential Mega-Fight

“That’s a bad man,” Jones mentioned UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira during a chat on ‘X’. “Who would you guys want to see me fight the most, Alex or Tom?”

Like Jones, Pereira holds titles in two weight classes and currently dominates the light heavyweight division, with aspirations to conquer the heavyweight category. While it’s not immediate, this goal is on the radar for the powerful ‘Poatan.’ As a result, Jones is intrigued by a potential showdown with Pereira in the future.

“If Alex P became champion of the heavyweight division, would you guys consider him the GOAT?” Jones asked. “Being back in the gym has got me thinking differently. That fight after stipe maybe the next biggest move I could possibly make. This killer has already defeated so many champions, and is already considered a legend to millions around the world. The most massive fight the UFC could make. Give Alex a chance to avenge all those great Brazilian champions I’ve defeated.”

“It would be absolutely massive,” Jones said about a potential superfight with Pereira. A guy with a chance to be three division champion and a goat versus the actual goat. Same age, different strengths. No one can argue that that would be the biggest fight in MMA history. There’s absolutely no fight that generates a payday like that. Marketing would be insane.”

In his latest matchup, Brazil’s Alex Pereira took the spotlight at UFC 300, one of the promotion’s most significant events. There, Pereira successfully defended his title, delivering a knockout blow to Jamahal Hill and avenging his coach Glover Teixeira.

Pereira has now settled all scores with Teixeira’s previous title opponents except for one: Jon Jones, who bested Pereira back in 2014.

While Tom Aspinall remains a strong contender for the heavyweight title, boasting an impressive 7-1 record in the promotion and securing the interim title with a stunning victory over Sergei Pavlovich last fall, Jones remains hesitant about facing Aspinall, expressing doubts about his star power.

“You actually think me fighting Tom would be more massive than Alex and I colliding? Tom only matters in the UK, newsflash,” Jones said. “Pereira is one of the most polarizing figures this sport has seen. Toms a contender who won a belt against another contender. We had to save Madison Square Gardens main event. I’m thinking dollar signs, legacy, big picture here. Not what UK fans are dying to see. Literally just went through this with the French fans [against Ciryl Gane].”

Jones, at 36, seems to be upping his mental game as he nears his comeback from injury. He hasn’t fought since March 2023 and isn’t likely to return to the Octagon until the fourth quarter of this year. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Aspinall defending the interim title at UFC 304 in Manchester. As long as the arena doesn’t collapse before then.

Published on May 3, 2024 at 4:21 pm
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