Jon Jones favors Alex Pereira heavyweight clash over Tom Aspinall: ‘Tom only matters in the U.K.’

Jon Jones is weighing his heavyweight options.

“Bones” added another belt to his collection in March 2023, when he made quick work of Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. Since then, Jones has been waiting to schedule a fight with heavyweight great Stipe Miocic, but the division has seen plenty of movement and rumblings that have piqued his interest.

Interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall has frequently called for a unification bout, and light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira has made overtures to move up and become the UFC’s first three-division titleholder.

Jones addressed both in a series of messages on social media, first asking, “Who would you guys want to see me fight the most, Alex or Tom?”

Aspinall won his share of the heavyweight crown with a 69-second knockout of Sergei Pavlovich this past November. The British star has frequently mentioned his desire to face Jones in a unification bout, but has also said he is open to defending his interim belt against another opponent with Jones insisting that he prefers to fight Miocic.

Pereira is yet to compete at heavyweight, but the former kickboxing standout has already made history in his brief MMA career, defeating Israel Adesanya to claim the middleweight title and then later moving up to light heavyweight to win a vacant championship with a knockout of Jiri Prochazka. He recently expressed an interest in chasing a third championship, which has Jones pondering the possibilities.

“If Alex P became champion of the heavyweight division, would you guys consider him the GOAT?” Jones wrote. “Being back in the gym has got me thinking differently. That fight after Stipe may be the next biggest move I could possibly make. This killer has already defeated so many champions, and is already considered a legend to millions around the world. The most massive fight the UFC could make. Give Alex a chance to avenge all those great Brazilian champions I’ve defeated.”

“It would be absolutely massive,” Jones continued, responding to a comment. “A guy with a chance to be three-division champion and a GOAT versus the actual GOAT. Same age, different strengths. No one can argue that that would be the biggest fight in MMA history. There’s absolutely no fight that generates a payday like that. Marketing would be insane.”

In addition to his recent heavyweight win, Jones is widely regarded as one of the best fighters of all time due to his legendary run at 205 pounds. Jones won 26 of his first 28 pro bouts, with his lone blemishes being a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill and a no-contest in a rematch against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. Jones originally knocked Cormier out with a head kick, but the result was overturned when Jones tested positive for banned substances.

The 36-year-old has also dealt with issues outside of competition, including his involvement in a 2015 hit-and-run that led to him being stripped of a belt, and a positive drug test in 2016 that forced him to give up an interim title. A third reign as light heavyweight champion ended when he voluntarily vacated his title amid a contract dispute with the UFC and his plans to move to heavyweight.

Currently, it appears that Jones is favoring a future clash with Pereira over Aspinall, who he isn’t convinced is a draw outside of the U.K.

“You actually think me fighting Tom would be more massive than Alex and I colliding?” Jones wrote, responding to another commenter. “Tom only matters in the U.K., newsflash. Pereira is one of the most polarizing figures this sport has seen. Tom’s a contender who won a belt against another contender. We had to save Madison Square Garden’s main event. I’m thinking dollar signs, legacy, big picture here. Not what U.K. fans are dying to see. Literally just went through this with the French fans.”

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