UFC 295 has received a massive blow just a few weeks before it is set to go down. UFC CEO Dana White said early Wednesday morning that Jon Jones has suffered an injury, forcing him out of a UFC Heavyweight Championship match against former titleholder Stipe Miocic.
The fight was scheduled to headline a pay-per-view event on November 11 from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA, which has become one of UFC’s biggest events of the year since they started running the venue annually in 2016.
Jon Jones pulled from UFC 295 due to injury, out for eight months
White announced the departure of Jones from UFC 295, along with the new plan for the PPV event.
“Jon Jones was training last night,” White said on social media. “[He] got injured. He was wrestling and tore the tendon that connects your pec to the bone, off the bone. Eight months, gonna need surgery, he’s out.”
Jon Jones’ departure from UFC 295 stops him from competing twice in what was supposed to be his return year. He came back to competition in March, moving up to heavyweight after spending his entire prior UFC career fighting at the light heavyweight limit.
He scored a first-round submission against Ciryl Gane to earn the division’s vacant belt earlier this year. It was his first appearance since February 2020, when he defended his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Dominick Reyes. If Jones were able to compete at UFC 295, it would have been the first time that he had competed twice within a year since 2019.
The cancellation of Jones vs. Miocic also continues recent title fight troubles in the UFC. Just a few weeks ago, UFC 294 received a last-minute shuffle after Charles Oliveira had to pull out of his lightweight title fight against Islam Makhachev. He was replaced by featherweight Alexander Volkanovski, who was finished in the first round of the fight.
New interim heavyweight title fight joins UFC 295
Along with the announcement of Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic leaving next month’s New York City card, UFC CEO White announced the new plan for the event. First, he revealed that the already booked fight between Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship would now be elevated to main event status.
He also announced that heavyweights Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall will compete in the co-main event for an interim UFC Heavyweight Championship. Pavlovich currently sits second in the official heavyweight rankings, with Aspinall down in the fourth spot.
Pavlovich has gained momentum in recent years with a series of first-round finish wins in the UFC cage. He is currently on a six-fight winning streak, with all of those victories coming in the first round due to strikes. His last appearance was in April when he stopped Curtis Blaydes in just over three minutes.
Aspinall has picked up six wins through seven UFC appearances, with his sole defeat coming due to a knee injury that he suffered just 15 seconds into a fight. Like Pavlovich, all of his UFC victories have emerged via finish. His last win saw him stop Marcin Tybura in just 73 seconds.
What happens to Stipe Miocic?
This leaves Miocic, who was scheduled to face Jon Jones for the heavyweight title in his first appearance since March 2021, out of the equation. Miocic’s last fight was a knockout loss to Francis Ngannou, which ended his second reign as champion at heavyweight.
It is not known at the moment whether his absence from the updated UFC 295 lineup was his choice or a decision that the promotion made.
UPDATE: According to ESPN, the initial plan is to rebook Jones vs. Miocic “on a big card in 2024” once he recovers from injury.
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