Jon Anik echoes fan frustration over Jon Jones’ refusal to fight Tom Aspinall, ‘should’ve vacated’ title after torn pec injury

By Curtis Calhoun - May 27, 2024

UFC play-by-play broadcaster Jon Anik sides with fans frustrated with Jon Jones’ apparent refusal to face Tom Aspinall in the Octagon.

Jon Anik, Jon Jones

Jones is expected to face former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in his return later this year, potentially as soon as November. He hasn’t fought since winning the then-vacant UFC heavyweight title over Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 last year.

Jones was supposed to face Miocic in the UFC 295 main event before withdrawing due to a torn pectoral muscle. In the fight’s stead, Aspinall defeated Sergei Pavlovich for the interim UFC heavyweight belt by knockout.

Since Aspinall’s interim title win, Jones has dismissed facing the UK heavyweight star over the aging Miocic. Miocic hasn’t fought since a loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC 260.

While Anik understands some of Jones’s recently articulated positions, he feels that Jones is doing fans a disservice by his insistence to face Miocic and not Aspinall.

Jon Anik gives his honest take on Jon Jones, HW division

During a recent episode of The Anik & Florian Podcast, Anik empathized with fans frustrated with Jones’ inactive title reign.

“I think a part of the fan issue, and this could be a vocal minority, is just some of the Jon Jones inactivity,” Anik said of Jones. “Part of that has been a choice, part of that has been his lack of health and the torn pectoral muscle that forced him out of the Stipe Miocic fight. And part of this equation is that we’re never going to see him fight Tom Aspinall and a lot of people believe that Tom Aspinall is not only the best heavyweight in the world right now skill-for-skill, but Michael Bisping and others suggest he could go down as the greatest heavyweight of all time. He might actually have that type of potential…

“I think part of this is just fan frustration with the lack of heavyweight title fights, the fact that we’re not going to see Jon Jones against an arriving at his prime Tom Aspinall. Instead, we’re going to see him against Stipe Miocic, who last competed at 38 years of age, and will be 42 when he graces the Octagon against Jon Jones,” Anik continued. “So I can understand some of the frustration, but I guess in terms of mixed martial arts, everything that it takes to get through a training camp healthy, to realize success in different eras and different divisions…I would’ve loved to have seen sort of a vacation of the title by Jon Jones after the torn pec, just knowing there was already an interim champion. But if he was not going to do that, I don’t blame the greatest of all time for not wanting to do that. The promotion wasn’t going to strip him, and that’s why we are where we’re at, an interim title defense for Tom Aspinall against Curtis Blaydes.”

Aspinall will face Blaydes in the UFC 304 co-main event on July 27. He has won two straight fights since an injury stoppage loss to Blaydes in 2022.

Despite pleas from Aspinall and UFC fans for Jones to welcome the matchup, the Aspinall vs. Jones fight will likely never happen, leaving Anik and others frustrated with the current predicament.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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