One of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year has taken a massive hit overnight with the news that heavyweight champion Jon Jones is out of his title fight with Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 on November 12th in New York City due to a shoulder injury.
Dana White announced the news and showed video of the exact moment Jones injury occurred during wrestling practice, explaining that, “he tore the tendon that connects your pec to to the bone, off the bone.
“Eight months, going to need surgery. He’s out.”
With that in mind ex-champ Miocic has also been pulled from the event and in their place an interim heavyweight title fight between Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich has now been announced as the new co-main event, while the vacant light-heavyweight title fight between Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira has now been bumped up to main event status.
In all fairness Aspinall vs. Pavlovich is actually a very good fight as both have been stand-out performers in the upper reaches of the heavyweight division in recent times.
A knee injury just 15 seconds into a fight with Curtis Blaydes last year did derail some of Aspinall’s momentum, having won five UFC fights in a row inside the distance before that, but since undergoing surgery he’s successfully bounced back with a 73 second TKO finish against Marcin Tybura in July, leaving him as the No.4 ranked contender.
Meanwhile, Pavlovich has ran through his opposition in the past four years, winning six fights in a row in the first round via strikes, beating the likes of Derrick Lewis, Tai Tuivasa and Curtis Blaydes along the way to take the No.2 spot on the rankings.
Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that the loss of arguably the most anticipated fight of the year between Jones and Miocic is a huge disappointment.
A big unanswered question going forward now is what the UFC plans to do after Aspinall vs. Pavlovich.
Does Miocic fight the winner of the interim title while Jones is still injured? If not, do they wait for Jones to heal up and have him fight the interim champion to unify the titles, or do they stick to their plan to have Jones fight Miocic first and then the winner of that then fights the interim champ?
The situation is still very fresh, so perhaps the UFC will have answers in the coming days. Meanwhile you can Watch Dana White’s full announcement regarding Jones injury below.
BREAKING NEWS…………… Sergei Pavlovich vs Tom Aspinall for the Interim Heavyweight Championship. Main Event is Jiri Prochazka vs Alex Pereira. #UFC295 is LIVE at MSG on ESPN+ PPV pic.twitter.com/SaPAwpyHi2
— danawhite (@danawhite) October 25, 2023