Home Sports Jon Jones removes Tom Aspinall’s hand from his shoulder and turns down Englishman’s request for a ‘face off’ picture in awkward meeting between the UFC’s heavyweight champion and interim title holder

Jon Jones removes Tom Aspinall’s hand from his shoulder and turns down Englishman’s request for a ‘face off’ picture in awkward meeting between the UFC’s heavyweight champion and interim title holder

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Jon Jones moved Tom Aspinall's hand off his shoulder and rejected a confrontational photo.
  • Jon Jones won the UFC heavyweight title in March 2023 against Ciryl Gane
  • Tom Aspinall finished off Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295 to win the interim title
  • DailyMail.com provides the latest international sports news.

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UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones removed Tom Aspinall’s hand from his shoulder when the two met for the first time in Birmingham on Saturday.

The Englishman has been campaigning to unify the titles since winning interim gold at UFC 295 in November against Sergei Pavlovich. Jones, who won the undisputed title against Ciryl Gane last March, was supposed to headline the New York City card against Stipe Miocic before tearing a pectoral tendon in training camp.

With much speculation about an upcoming fight between them, Jones and Aspinall were respectful of each other. After Jones removed the interim champions’ hand from his shoulder, he too declined a confrontation with Aspinall.

“We will do this (fight),” Aspinall said. “I would love to be a man.”

“I hope so,” Jones said with a smile. ‘All the best.’

Jon Jones moved Tom Aspinall's hand off his shoulder and rejected a confrontational photo.

Jon Jones moved Tom Aspinall’s hand off his shoulder and rejected a confrontational photo.

Aspinall and Jones first met at the Arnold Sports Festival in Birmingham, England.

Aspinall and Jones first met at the Arnold Sports Festival in Birmingham, England.

Aspinall and Jones first met at the Arnold Sports Festival in Birmingham, England.

‘Shall we take a quick photo?’ —Aspinall asked. To which Jones said, “sure.” After Aspinall suggested a confrontation, Jones’ expression changed and he dismissed the idea.

“No,” he said while shaking his head.

After the interaction, Aspinall posted his reaction until meeting Jones on his TikTok. He pointed out that he is much bigger than the heavyweight king.

“It’s okay, buddy,” he said of Jones. ‘The first time I met him. It’s not as big as I thought. I thought he was a lot taller, but I guess when you fight at light heavyweight your entire career and you’re 6’4″, you look really tall.

Jones won the UFC heavyweight title in March 2023 before rupturing his pectoral tendon.

Jones won the UFC heavyweight title in March 2023 before rupturing his pectoral tendon.

Jones won the UFC heavyweight title in March 2023 before rupturing his pectoral tendon.

In Jones' absence, Aspinall won the interim belt by defeating Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295.

In Jones' absence, Aspinall won the interim belt by defeating Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295.

In Jones’ absence, Aspinall won the interim belt by defeating Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295.

But I’m already an adult heavyweight, right? It’s not as big as me, but size doesn’t really matter. We’re both huge guys, but I’ll take that one. “I think I definitely beat him.”

Before venturing into the heavyweight division, Jones ruled the light heavyweights despite being stripped and suspended on multiple occasions. Jones has a 27-1 record in MMA, and his last 16 fights have been title fights.

The only blemish on his career is a disqualification in his fight with Matt Hamill in 2009.

On the other hand, Aspinall is 14-3 and has yet to see a decision in his career. Of his 14 victories, 10 have come by way of knockout.

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