There has been a lot of discussion between Jon Jones and Tom Aspinall this week, but one thing that has become clear is the significance of Stipe Miocic to Jon Jones. It is a fascinating dilemma. Jon Jones only wants to fight Stipe because he is the GOAT, and one of the biggest reasons Tom wants to fight Jon Jones is because he is also a GOAT. Tom and Jon Jones said as much in their tweets back and forth to one another.
So we are at an impasse here, so what should we do? Tom Aspinall is the active heavyweight champion. He is ready to fight wherever and whenever. The sky is the limit for him due to him being the younger and more active fighter. While for Jon Jones feels he has done everything except beat another goat like Stipe.
Does that mean we will never get Tom vs Jon Jones? No, it does not; Jon Jones states the following when discussing retirement.
Jon Jones has not ruled out retirement. Interestingly enough, he has also kept tabs on Tom Aspinall throughout his career and even said on a recent episode of the Overdogs podcast that he believes Tom Aspinall has the potential to do something special.
So if Tom Aspinall cannot get a fight with Jon Jones due to Jon Jones only wanting legacy-building fights, then Tom Aspinall needs to get some title defenses. He can quickly start building the narrative that he is the real heavyweight champion since he is the only one who is fighting active contenders. It would be a straightforward argument if he beats guys like Ciryl Gane, Jailton Almeida, Curtis Blaydes and even Alex Pereira.
The significance of a championship belt is subjective and depends entirely on the fans. If Tom Aspinall establishes his own legacy, the current belt he holds will be considered more legitimate than that of Jon Jones’s belt. This would make a fight with Jon Jones more appealing, as he only wishes to participate in fights that have the potential to build his legacy further.
If Tom can pull this off within the next year or two, not only will he make a case for himself for being a heavyweight goat, but it will make Jon Jones much more interested in that fight, and the build-up to that fight would be unbelievable.