Jon Jones was impressed with Tom Aspinall following his first-round knockout over Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295.
Last night’s co-headliner featured an interim heavyweight title fight between Aspinall and Pavlovich at Madison Square Garden. The bout was made on two weeks’ notice after current heavyweight champion Jon Jones was forced to withdraw from his title fight with Stipe Miocic with an injury.
Aspinall returned to the cage for the first time since headlining in London earlier this July against Marcin Tybura. The Brit dispatched of Tybura in 73 seconds of the first round.
On the other hand, Pavlovich came into the fight boasting a six-fight winning streak, with all his wins coming by knockout. The heavyweight sensation had recently earned stoppage victories over Tai Tuivasa and Curtis Blaydes.
Jon Jones Praises Tom Aspinall Following UFC 295 Title Win
Given the statistics leading into the fight, many felt this fight wouldn’t leave the first round, and boy, were they correct. In the first exchange, Pavlovich rang the bell of Aspinall with a right hand, but the newly crowned champion responded with a huge punch of his own, which sent Pavlovich flying to the canvas. Aspinall followed up with multiple follow-up shots, which forced the referee to step in.
In the wake of the event, Jon Jones took to ‘X‘ to praise Apsinall’s performance.
“Tom congratulations on the interim heavyweight championship belt! That was an awesome performance!” – Jones posted.
With Aspinall now holding the promotion’s interim heavyweight title, in normal circumstances, he would take on the current champion in his next outing. However, UFC President Dana White has revealed he still has plans to match Jones up with Stipe next.
Jones’ injury means he will be out until mid 2024, which would leave Aspinall in a tricky situation. Does he fight and defend his interim title, or wait for the Jones fight which could unfold at the back end of 2024?