Michael Bisping: Jon Jones has to fight Tom Aspinall to avoid tarnishing his legacy

Michael Bisping thinks Jon Jones not fighting Tom Aspinall would be a bad look.

UFC heavyweight champion Jones (27-1 MMA, 21-1 UFC) is currently healing from a torn pectoralis tendon, as well as a procedure he just underwent on his elbow. He is expected to return against Stipe Miocic – not Aspinall (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC), who claimed the interim title with a knockout of Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295.

Jones has grown tired of Aspinall’s constant callouts, dismissing the Brit’s resume. But if Jones decides to hang up his gloves with a Miocic win, Bisping says don’t be surprised if people think he’s avoiding the fight.

“He doesn’t have anything to prove, other than he can beat Tom Aspinall,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “If he does retire right now, that is always going to be the narrative. There’s people out there – and I know this annoys Jones, so I’m sorry to bring it up – people say that he avoided Francis Ngannou. I’m not saying that, but that’s a narrative that exists. I don’t think that’s true, but people do say that.

“If he doesn’t fight Tom Aspinall, if he beats Stipe, that will forever be the narrative. That will forever be the narrative – that he’s ducking Tom Aspinall, that he’s afraid of Tom Aspinall, that he looks at Tom Aspinall – this gigantic man, a true heavyweight that moves like a middleweight, that has ridiculous finishing ability, a heavyweight Georges St-Pierre, a mixed martial arts version of Muhammad Ali, (and is scared).”

Bisping thinks Jones needs to fight Aspinall, especially if Aspinall defends his interim title in the meantime.

“How on earth can Jon Jones retire when there’s another active, defending heavyweight champion?” Bisping said. “You just can’t do that. That is madness, and it will affect his legacy and tarnish his accomplishments forever.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie