Jon Jones dismissed as champion by Curtis Blaydes ahead of Tom Aspinall fight: "I don’t view him as a heavyweight"

Curtis Blaydes (inset) discusses Jon Jones (right) ahead of UFC 304 [Images courtesy: Getty]
Curtis Blaydes (inset) discusses Jon Jones (right) ahead of UFC 304. [Images courtesy: Getty]

Curtis Blaydes recently took a dig at Jon Jones prior to his fight against Tom Aspinall. Blaydes is set to challenge Aspinall for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 304, set to take place on July 27 at Co-op Live in Manchester.

In their previous meeting at UFC Fight Night 208 in July 2022, Aspinall lost the bout via first-round stoppage due to a knee injury. Two years later, the two will face off again in Manchester at UFC 304.

In a recent interview with Ariel Helwai on The MMA Hour, the heavyweight contender expressed his thoughts on his upcoming fight against Aspinall. Given Jones ' absence, Blaydes was questioned directly if he thought the fight was for the actual heavyweight title, saying:

“I view Aspinall as the guy with the real belt. Aspinall [is the best heavyweight on the planet], one hundred percent… There’s nothing bad you can say about him. Absolutely nothing bad. With Jon, I’m going to be honest, he doesn’t look like a heavyweight. When he stepped into that cage with Ciryl Gane, I know I’m not the only one who thought he looked a little top-heavy. He doesn’t really have the legs of a heavyweight. I don’t view him as a heavyweight.''

Check out Curtis Blaydes' comments below:

In his last octagon outing at UFC 299 this March, Blaydes squared off against Jailton Almeida in a heavyweight bout, which he won via second-round knockout. Meanwhile, Aspinall won the interim title by stopping Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295 last year.


Curtis Blaydes believes Tom Aspinall is a tougher opponent than Jon Jones

With Jon Jones away from active competition, the UFC has set up a rematch between Curtis Blaydes and the interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall as the co-main event of UFC 304 on July 27.

In the aforementioned interview, Blaydes claimed that he's actually facing a more formidable opponent by drawing Aspinall rather than Jones right now. Blaydes appreciates Jones' extensive resume, but he also understands that Aspinall poses a greater threat in their fight. He said:

''I say Aspinall [is the tougher fight] just because he’s younger, a little springier and he’s a natural heavyweight. I know Jon’s the better grappler but I don’t think that’s enough of a determining factor to make him harder than Aspinall. I think Aspinall because he’s a legitimate heavyweight. I think he probably hits harder also. That’s all speculation but he looks like he hits harder than Jon. He also showed he can do grappling, just not at the highest level. I’m going to give it to Aspinall.''

Watch the full interview below:

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Edited by C. Naik
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