Less than a week on from a UFC 294 pay-per-view that underwent major late chances to the lineup, the next numbered event has suffered the loss of its headliner.
On November 11, the mixed martial arts leader will bring the Octagon back to the prestigious Madison Square Garden in New York City. Topping proceedings was scheduled to be Rochester native Jon Jones, who was slated to defend his heavyweight gold against the returning Stipe Miocic.
Just less than three weeks out from the PPV, however, “Bones” has been forced out through injury. UFC CEO Dana White took to social media to announce the news alongside a video of Jones suffering a torn tendon during a wrestling exchange in training.
BREAKING NEWS…………… Sergei Pavlovich vs Tom Aspinall for the Interim Heavyweight Championship. Main Event is Jiri Prochazka vs Alex Pereira. #UFC295 is LIVE at MSG on ESPN+ PPV pic.twitter.com/SaPAwpyHi2
— danawhite (@danawhite) October 25, 2023
With the now-canceled bout marking a legacy fight and the only pairing that interested Miocic, he’s unsurprisingly also been taken off the card.
However, courtesy of two contenders accepting a late-notice scrap, heavyweight gold will still be on the line.
Pavlovich, Aspinall Answer The Call For UFC 295 After Jones Injury
During the same video, White revealed that an interim title will be created in Jones’ absence, which is expected to span up to eight months.
Fighting for the belt on short notice will be top five contenders Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall. Their championship collision will now serve as the UFC 295 co-headliner, with the light heavyweight title tilt between Jiří Procházka and Alex Pereira elevated to the main event.
Pavlovich (18-1) was widely seen as the deserving next in line anyway. The Russian has carved a path of destruction en route to #2 in the rankings, knocking out Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis in a run of six consecutive first-round finishes.
Aspinall (13-3), meanwhile, recently returned to the fold following a year on the sidelines owing to the serious knee injury he suffered just 17 seconds into a fight against Blaydes. The #4-ranked contender bounced back in style this past July at UFC London by stopping Marcin Tybura in 73 seconds.
LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOO TOM ASPINALL 🔥
— UFC on TNT Sports (@ufcontnt) October 25, 2023
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