May 6, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; UFC president Dana White during weigh ins for UFC 274 at the Arizona Federal Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jones Out of UFC 295, White Insists Miocic Won’t Fight for Interim Title

Heavyweight Legacy on Hold: Injury Sidelines Jones, Miocic Awaits Rescheduled Bout

In a dramatic turn of events, Jon Jones withdraws from the UFC 295 heavyweight title clash against Stipe Miocic due to a torn pectoral tendon, disrupting the main event of UFC’s 30th anniversary at Madison Square Garden on November 11. UFC quickly announced an interim title match featuring Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall, leaving questions about Miocic’s immediate future in the division.

The abrupt exit of Jones (27-1 MMA, 21-1 UFC) from the high-stakes match sent ripples through the martial arts community, coming after an injury sustained during training. Despite the setback, UFC President Dana White ruled out any possibility of Miocic (20-4 MMA, 14-4 UFC) competing for an interim title, citing the disrespect it would signify for the fighter’s stature.

“Stipe’s not fighting for an interim title. This is a fight for two legends. Legacy. Two of the greatest to ever do it. The fans want to see it, I want to see it, and they both want to do it,”

White emphasized, reflecting on the match’s significance beyond just championship implications.

While Jones faces at least eight months out following surgery, White insists on holding the title for a legacy-defining bout between him and Miocic, sidelining Miocic from the interim title picture. The anticipation surrounding the original match-up underscores the fighters’ standing, raising stakes for the UFC to navigate maintaining fan engagement and managing fighters’ career trajectories.

“Jon called, he was super emotional about it, really upset, and we did what we do, flipped it, made another fight,” White recounted, detailing the frenetic adjustment period following the injury news.

With the interim title in play between Pavlovich and Aspinall, eyes remain on Jones’s recovery and the potential rescheduling of the epic showdown with Miocic. The situation underscores the precarious nature of combat sports, where one injury can unsettle championship landscapes, and legacy-defining fights hang in the balance.

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