Jon Jones rejected the chance to headline UFC 300 with nine-weeks notice after admitting he would not be ready in time.
The UFC Heavyweight Champion is currently ruled out with an injury. He pulled out of his title defense against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 last November after injuring his pectoral muscle in sparring. Bones had surgery to rectify the issue, only to then have further surgery on his elbow. His comeback is still expected in 2024, but his absence has held up the heavyweight division. Now fans will have to wait longer as a UFC 300 return was dismissed.
“I got a call from [UFC Chief Business Officer] Hunter Campbell, one of the head lawyers of the UFC, he said, ‘Jon, I know it’s only nine weeks away, but if there’s any chance you’re feeling up to it, it would be awesome news for the community that you’re coming back and headlining one of the biggest events ever.
“And, as honored as I am for the opportunity, I just don’t think I’ll be ready. I just don’t. So, I’m getting up there in age and I only have a few more events left, and I want to give those events my all and make sure that I come back 100 percent,” Jones said
During this period, Tom Aspinall called on the UFC to strip Jones. The Brit requested he face Miocic, with the winner then taking on Jones for the title. White dismissed that, leaving Aspinall with the choice of defending his interim belt or waiting for the winner of Jones-Miocic. Bones has not dismissed the Aspinall fight, meaning fans could see the clash once the American is back to full fitness.
“But the Tom fight is definitely not off the table. Especially with how I’ve been feeling being out here. I feel just totally reinvigorated and just re-energized just being around all these fans. So, I can’t just walk away. So, the ball is rolling in a really positive direction for me to continue my career,” Jones added