Tom Aspinall Unveils UFC’s Initial Plans Before Jon Jones Possible Retirement

Tom Aspinall, the heavyweight contender from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, commented on his upcoming title shot saying it was expected, the only surprise being its timing. He was roped in on short notice when one morning, he received an early call from the promotion team requesting his participation in a fight taking place in a fortnight. Following his agreement, Aspinall found himself set to go against Sergei Pavlovich for the interim title in the co-main event at UFC 295, scheduled for Nov. 11 at Madison Square Garden.

UFC 295 was originally arranged to feature a bout with Jon Jones defending his title against heavyweight legend Stipe Miocic as the main attraction. However, the match went kaput when Miocic declined to accept a change in opponent after Jones had to pull out due to an injury to his pectoral muscle. Aspinall and Pavlovich, two rapidly rising forces in the heavyweight category, had seemed to be moving towards a collision for quite some time. Furthermore, Aspinall revealed that sufficiently before Jones’ injury, plans for a match against the Russian fighter for the empty title were already in the pipeline.

This was more or less confirmed when Jones suggested he could retire his gloves after the fight with Miocic, who also seemed uninterested in any other matchups. Aspinall informs that the UFC seemed amenable to both veterans retiring post UFC 295, which would have created a vacancy for the heavyweight title. In the event of this happening, he purports he would have been lined up to fight against Pavlovich for the vacant title in the early part of the following year. He revealed this on an appearance on “The MMA Hour”, saying, “I guess I can speak about it now, really. I was sworn to secrecy a little bit… If they were both going to retire, then I was going to fight Pavlovich for the vacant title anyway… It was just a big waiting game for me.”

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