Following the news surrounding Jon Jones’ injury emerging on Wednesday, Dana White has now taken the time to speak to the media regarding the plans for the heavyweight division now that UFC 295 has gone through a significant change.
Jones suffered a torn pectoral muscle while wrestling in training camp, forcing him to back out of his upcoming main event title fight against Stipe Miocic. This resulted in a slight shuffle to the card, moving Jiří Procházka versus Alex Pereira into the main event slot, with Sergei Pavlovich taking on Tom Aspinall in the co-main event to crown a new interim 265-pound champion.
During a press conference for his latest Power Slap event, White revealed that the plan will be for the winner of the newly scheduled interim heavyweight title match will have to wait for Jones to square off with Miocic before they get a shot at the division’s king.
“One hundred percent (the winner will have to wait for Jones vs. Miocic to happen),” White said. “So here’s the deal: Jones and Stipe were supposed to fight. Jones gets hurt, right? Eight, nine months he’s going to be out. You don’t strip him or take him out of the rankings after a year, right?
“So, if you’re Sergei and Aspinall, you’re getting the opportunity to fight for the interim title anyway now. So, yeah, they’re going to have to wait until this fight happens. This fight was set up; this fight needs to happen. Two of the biggest legends in the sport want the fight, (and) the fans want the fight.”
“To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. So whoever wins that fight, it would be nice to see them stick around and defend it,” White said. “That we can’t determine until it happens.”
Quotes via MMA Junkie
The timeline for Jones’ recovery has not yet been revealed, but the word is that he will need to undergo surgery before his bout with Miocic can occur. This means that fans could be waiting quite a long time before they see a unified heavyweight division.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 27, 2023