UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones and UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall have been going back and forth about the heavyweight title.
Aspinall, who earned the interim title knocking out Sergei Pavlovich, thinks Jones should be stripped of the title considering he's injured and could be out an extended period of time. Jones obviously disagrees with that sentiment and cited his long history as a champion as his reason for remaining with the title.
Now, an unlikely name has stepped up to agree with Jones.
Anthony Smith, who fought Jones in March 2019 and nearly won due to an illegal knee, spoke on the matter while attending the UFC Vegas 83 media day on Wednesday.
“You all know how I feel about Jon Jones,” Smith said during UFC Vegas 83 media day. “I hate when you guys ask me questions where I have to say nice things about him. Jon Jones can do whatever the f*** he wants. Really. He’s earned that."
Anthony Smith thinks Jon Jones should keep title and fight Stipe Miocic 'Let’s not f*** this one up'
Smith has been outspoken about his dislike for Jones for years so it's surprising that Smith would agree with him on anything.
“He’s not been known as a guy that pulls out of fights. For whatever anybody says about him, he’s never strayed from a challenge. He’s always taken on the next best guy. I think in terms of him and Stipe, I think both those guys should be able to do whatever they want. I think that they’ve earned it. I think they deserve it.”
Many believe that Jones is being held as champion due to the super fight hopes of Jones vs. Stipe Miocic, which was originally slated for UFC 295 before Jones' injury. Smith is one that hopes that fight does happen.
“Do we really want to miss another super fight?” Smith said. “How long did we talk about Anderson Silva and [Georges St-Pierre]? Anderson and Jon Jones and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and whoever. We’ve done this back and forth, we want all these super fights and now we have the opportunity for one and everyone’s calling for Jon to get stripped of his title. Let’s not f*** this one up. Let’s just let him heal up.”