Jon Jones Is ‘Smart’ For Ducking Tom Aspinall – Says Dominick Reyes

February 4, 2024
3 weeks
Jon Jones Is 'Smart' For Ducking Tom Aspinall - Says Dominick Reyes

Dominick Reyes has said Jon Jones is doing the smart thing by ducking Tom Aspinall

Jones and Apsinall have been lined with a fight since Bones’ UFC 295 title defence against Stipe Miocic broke down. Jones pulled out of the fight after injuring his pectoral muscle in sparring. That injury required surgery, which was expected to keep him out for some time. That news was exacerbated after Jones underwent further surgery on his elbow. In response, Aspinall requested that Jones be stripped of his heavyweight title.

That would allow him to fight Miocic, with the winner then taking on Jones. Dana White replied, shutting down that request, meaning Aspinall had two options. He could either defend his interim belt, which he acquired after beating Sergei Pavlovich or sit on the sidelines and wait for Jones to face Miocic, with the hope of then facing the winner. Reyes felt this was clever management by Jones to avoid taking a risky fight. 

Reyes On Jones

“I completely understand where Jon [Jones] is coming from. Jon is Jon Jones, say his name anywhere in the world, and people recognize it. Fighting Tom [Aspinall] is a risk management thing. It’s almost the same reason why he didn’t rematch me kind of thing. It’s too dangerous and not enough payoff. Tom is an excellent fighter,” Reyes said 

Jones is not getting any younger, and at 36, he is suffering from more injuries than he is used to. Before his win over Ciryl Gane, Jones had been absent from the sport for around three years. That huge period of inactivity is likely to have impacted Jones’ injury. Therefore, facing Aspinall is a big risk. 

Since his knee injury against Curtis Blaydes, Aspinall has returned much stronger. He stopped Marcin Tybura and Pavlovich in consecutive first-round knockouts. His only loss was against Blaydes due to his injury, while Aspinall has stopped all the rest of his opponents, showing he doesn’t leave anything to chance in the hands of judges. That power and hand speed is something Reyes sees in himself. 

Reyes On Aspinall

​​“Tom is very similar to myself, but he’s a heavyweight. That’s super dangerous. He moves extremely well, he’s very quick, his wrestling is really good, his grappling is good, his power is off the charts. How is that gonna benefit Jon? Beating the most recent champion? Nah, let’s fight the greatest heavyweight of all time, Stipe Miocic…Jon is a great himself, so he’s going to fight another active great,” Reyes added 

Reyes demonstrated those skills when he faced Jones at UFC 247 in 2020. The MMA fighter managed to outland and connect with more telling strikes on Jones. That led to the suggestion that Reyes had done enough to beat Jones.

Although that may have been the case, the scorecards did not reflect that. The judges responded by giving Jones a unanimous decision win: 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46. Some felt Reyes had been robbed, which is why an Aspinall bout offers much intrigue. 

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