Tom Aspinall has been provided added motivation by Jon Jones becoming the UFC heavyweight champion.
At UFC 285, Jones returned to the Octagon for the first time in three years, defeating Ciryl Gane with a first-round submission. During an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Aspinall discussed ‘Bones’ being the heavyweight champion and arguably the greatest fighter of all time by saying:
“Now with Jon Jones, it’s difficult to make an argument against him [being the GOAT]. The guy is special. He is special, and for him to be the champ of my division right now, like that gives me an unbelievable amount of motivation. Let’s be honest, I probably won’t fight him. But to just have the aim for, that’s something special for a guy like me.”
Aspinall last fought against Curtis Blaydes in July 2022, suffering a severe knee injury that ended the fight in fifteen seconds. The 29-year-old was dealing with the lingering injury for a while but kept delaying the surgery to capitalize on opportunities. Now that he’s getting closer to a full recovery, the English-born fighter is preparing to continue his journey to UFC gold.
Watch Jon Jones on The MMA Hour below:
Tom Aspinall says Jon Jones is his dream fight
Jon Jones added the heavyweight championship to his list of accomplishments that includes eleven light heavyweight title defenses. During the same interview with Ariel Helwani, Tom Aspinall revealed that his dream fight would be against Jones. He had this to say:
“I think he’ll probably face Stipe and leave it there, but I don’t know. I don’t know if he’ll start fighting up and comers like me… Maybe I’m wrong, that’s my dream fight honestly, to fight Jon Jones. That’s a serious motivation for me since he became champ. I know it was only like a week or two ago, but the GOAT is the champ of my division.”
Aspinall made his UFC debut in July 2020, defeating Jake Collier with a first-round knockout. He won four more bouts, all inside the distance, before suffering the knee injury against Curtis Blaydes. The English-born fighter is the number five-ranked heavyweight and plans to return by the end of 2023.
Quotes provided by BJPennDotCom.