With the recent news of UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones falling to injury, a multitude of possibilities have now presented themselves for the weight class.
Fortunately the UFC acted swiftly and booked an interim heavyweight title fight between Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall for UFC 295. That however still leaves the division in a questionable position.
UFC president Dana White confirmed that the UFC are going to look to re-book the title fight between Jones and Stipe Miocic, which would have headlined the November 11 card at Madison Square Garden. With Jones likely being out for over eight months, that will leave the interim title winner inactive for what could be a year or more.
UFC play-by-play commentator, Jon Anik, told Cageside Press in a recent interview that he wouldn’t be too surprised if the interim title winner ended up defending a title of some sort at UFC 300. The landmark event is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of next year and it will likely be stacked with multiple big fights.
“I think you’re going to get three title fights, which is easier said than done. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tom Aspinall/Sergei Pavlovich winner in a defence of some kind, either promoted or defence actually of an interim title on that very fight card.”
Anik also stated that it could be argued that a fight between Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich is between the two best heavyweights in the world.
“Aspinall/Pavlovich is as good a heavyweight fight as can be put together in 2023. You can make an argument skill-for-skill and relative to each fighters respective prime that those are the two best heavyweights in the world, and I say that with all due respect to Jon Jones who has fought only once in the last three and a half/four years.
“I felt it grossly ambitious to suggest or think that Jon Jones was going to compete in March at [UFC] 285 and then turn it around and compete twice in a span of seven or eight months, not to put it past the guy but he hadn’t fought in three years. To get through two training camps and compete twice in a calendar year, I think it’s asking a lot.”
Check out our full interview with UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik above.