Jon Jones likely won’t be fighting again until mid-2024.
On November 11, Jones was scheduled to defend his heavyweight title for the first time against Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 295. Unfortunately, ‘Bones’ was forced to pull out after suffering a torn pectoral muscle.
As a result, Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich fought in the UFC 295 co-main event on short notice for the interim heavyweight throne. The fight didn’t last long, with Aspinall securing a first-round knockout win.
Aspinall now waits for his opportunity to become the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion. The problem is that he might have to wait a long time.
A typical recovery timeline for a torn pectoral muscle is 6-9 months. Luckily, Jon Jones has two advantages working in his favor for a speedy rehab. Firstly, he underwent surgery quickly after suffering his injury. Secondly, ‘Bones’ has the resources to receive top-tier health care.
Following the disappointing injury, Dana White estimated Jones’ recovery process would take eight months. If that timeline is correct, ‘Bones’ would be fully recovered around June/July. The question is, who will he fight in his highly-anticipated Octagon return?
Who is Jon Jones expected to fight once he returns?
Dana White has maintained his interest in rescheduling Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic in 2024. As for Miocic, he also wants to fight Jones next, as he’s reached a point in his career where every opponent needs to make sense.
As for Tom Aspinall, the new interim heavyweight king is in a tricky situation. The English superstar must endure an extended layoff to fight the winner of Jones vs. Miocic or defend his interim throne, which is rarely done.
Regardless of Aspinall’s undisputed aspirations, Jon Jones’ next fight will likely be against Stipe Miocic. The must-see matchup features arguably the greatest fighter of all time and the greatest heavyweight of all time, making it a priority for the UFC from a legacy standpoint.
It’ll be intriguing to see what Jones does after potentially fighting Miocic. Will he retire or stay around to challenge like the next generation of heavyweights, including Aspinall and Jailton Almeida? Only time will tell.