Dana White provides update over Tom Aspinall’s next move as interim UFC champion

Dana White has hinted at Tom Aspinall defending his interim UFC heavyweight title before an ultimate shot against the winner of Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic for the undisputed belt at the end of 2024.

The UFC supremo ruled out the Wigan fighter taking on Miocic, who will instead wait to face Jones once his pectoral injury has healed.

Jones suffered the injury ahead of UFC 295 and his headline match with Miocic, which ultimately fell through after tearing a tendon while wrestling in training.

With Miocic not open to fighting another rival, the UFC scrambled to repackage the card and Aspinall produced a sensational performance in a first-round destruction of Sergei Pavlovich to seize the interim title.

But with Jones now on the sidelines for eight months since November and a return not expected until at least the end of the summer next year, Aspinall is eager to avoid rust through inactivity and White has now conceded another interim title fight is on the cards for 2024.

“No,” White told TNT Sports when asked if Aspinall could face Miocic. “And we’re not stripping Jon Jones, either, he’s the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

“You’re a young guy, you were injured there for a while. You’ll get your shot, just wait, this fight has to happen and then we’ll figure out what’s next for you.

“I don’t know if Jon is going to be out for a long time. Aspinall could fight again, we’ll see how this plays out.

Aspinall, right, became Britain’s third UFC champion by beating Pavlovich in just 69 seconds (Getty Images)
Aspinall, right, became Britain’s third UFC champion by beating Pavlovich in just 69 seconds (Getty Images)

“Jones and Stipe, the fight, they both deserve it. Jon got injured, there’s nothing he can do about it. We’ll see what happens in 2024. If Aspinall wants to fight before that happens, why not, why not let him defend it.

“That [an interim title defence against Miocic] ain’t happening.”

UFC 296: Edwards vs Covington will be exclusively live on TNT Sports Box Office, Saturday 16 December. For more info click here