Cormier: UFC should strip Jones, promote Aspinall to undisputed champ
UFC color commentator Daniel Cormier agrees with Tom Aspinall: Both believe that Aspinall should be the promotion's heavyweight champion, not Jon Jones.
After winning the interim heavyweight title in November, Aspinall would usually be next in line for a unification bout against Jones. Instead, UFC CEO Dana White insists on rebooking a matchup between Jones and Stipe Miocic in 2024, the latter of whom hasn't stepped into the Octagon since March 2021. That leaves Aspinall in a weird spot.
"If Jones and Stipe are only gonna fight each other, then you cannot have Tom Aspinall then defend the interim championship," Cormier, the former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champ, told "The MMA Hour" on Wednesday. "Jones and Stipe don't need the title to be on the line. They can just fight, and that's enough. Call it 'For The Greatest of All Time.' It doesn't matter. Create a belt.
"Tom Aspinall is the guy that's going to lead the heavyweight division for years to come. So, yes, I believe that he should be the undisputed champ."
Jones and Miocic were scheduled to headline UFC 295 on Nov. 11 at New York's Madison Square Garden, but the champion withdrew after suffering a torn pectoral muscle. He underwent surgery and could be ready to compete in the summer of 2024.
With Jones sidelined, the promotion created an interim title by pitting Aspinall against fellow top heavyweight Sergei Pavlovich at that event. Aspinall won by a 69-second knockout.
The Englishman said recently he believes the UFC should promote him to undisputed champion and let him defend the belt against Miocic. Then the winner would face Jones.
Cormier thinks most MMA fans wouldn't mind that happening.
"Look, Jones is the undisputed champion," Cormier said. "He earned that in the Octagon by beating Ciryl Gane. But if he's only gonna fight Stipe - and that's not for another, I mean, eight months, seven months - I think you put Tom Aspinall as the champ, and I don't think anybody would bat an eyelid."