Fightin' Words: Previewing UFC 295 without Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic

It is officially UFC 295 fight week. After being forced to vacate the UFC light heavyweight title due to injury, Jiri Prochazka returns to action to face former middleweight champion Alex Pereira for the vacant light heavyweight belt on November 11. Main eventing inside Madison Square Garden, it was the co-feature until a planned Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic heavyweight title fight was scrapped. 

Jones injured himself, and the replacement heavyweight fight on the card will be Tom Aspinall vs. Sergei Pavlovich for the interim heavyweight title. Before Jones’ injury, tickets were expensive to attend UFC 295. The hype was all about him returning to New York to face one of the greatest heavyweights in UFC history in Miocic. Does losing Jones vs. Miocic hurt interest in UFC 295? Was the fight going to deliver compared to the fights on the card now?

With Jones injured and potentially not fighting again until July, where does that leave him on the pound-for-pound rankings? Islam Makhachev beat Alexander Volkanovski twice this year and has a fair claim to the throne. But should the rankings panel just drop Jones down a few spots or remove him due to inactivity?

WATCH: UFC 295: Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira, exclusively on ESPN+

And once the winner of Aspinall-Pavlovich is announced, how does the promotion handle the heavyweight title scene? Jones and Miocic may retire after their potential fight in July 2024. Should the interim title be defended while we wait for a decision?

On the latest episode of Fightin’ Words, The Sporting News’ Andreas HaleKarisa Maxwell, and MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck break down UFC 295 and discuss the following topics:

MORE from The Sporting News: 

Does losing Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic hurt UFC 295? Fight card breakdown, predictions & more on Fightin’ Words

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