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Jones: I'd 'not be surprised' if Blaydes KOs Aspinall

Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones isn't very confident Tom Aspinall will get the job done against Curtis Blaydes at UFC 304.

Aspinall is scheduled to defend his interim heavyweight title in a rematch with Blaydes on July 27 on home soil in Manchester, England. Blaydes handed Aspinall his only UFC loss in July 2022, but the fight was waved off 16 seconds in after Aspinall suffered a severe knee injury that required surgery and sidelined him for one year.

Jones said Thursday that he recently watched the first Blaydes-Aspinall fight and believes there's a good chance Blaydes will win by stoppage again.

"(Aspinall) was getting that ass kicked," Jones wrote on X, adding: "In the short time it lasted, Tom lost almost every exchange. Curtis was touching that chin from the moment the fight started."

"Film study is one of my great strengths," Jones continued. "If Curtis (wins the rematch) by knockout or ground-and-pound, I would not be surprised."

Aspinall rose to the top of the division in his return from the injury. The Englishman knocked out Marcin Tybura in 73 seconds last July and then finished Sergei Pavlovich in 69 seconds last November to capture the interim heavyweight championship.

Blaydes, on the other hand, is 1-1 since their first fight. He earned an interim title shot by knocking out surging heavyweight Jailton Almeida at UFC 299 in March.

Aspinall eyed a title unification bout against Jones after he became the interim champ, but Jones and the UFC have stood firm in their plans to reschedule a fight against former champion Stipe Miocic later in 2024. The pair were slated to headline UFC 295 last November at Madison Square Garden, but Jones suffered a torn pectoral muscle in training and underwent surgery.

Jones and Aspinall have traded barbs in interviews and on social media in the months since.

"I'm just calling what I see," Jones wrote of his evaluation of Aspinall's performance in the first Blaydes fight. "The fans get so impressed with the new guy. I look at (what) was actually happening. I look at the tactics. I don't hop on the train and get hyped like everyone else."

He added: "I'm going to laugh the hardest if (Aspinall) ends up losing."

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