Jon Jones apologises to Stipe Miocic after injury derails UFC 295 clash

The heavyweight champion was due to defend his belt against divisional great Miocic on 11 November, but he will instead face months of rehab on a shoulder injury

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Friday 27 October 2023 16:03 BST
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Jon Jones has apologised to Stipe Miocic after withdrawing from their planned fight at UFC 295, as the heavyweight champion prepares for surgery.

Jones, a former two-time light-heavyweight champion, was due to defend the heavyweight belt against divisional great Miocic on 11 November, but “Bones” sustained an injury in training this week.

“He was wrestling, and he tore the tendon that connects your pec to the bone... off the bone,” said UFC president Dana White, who added that Jones, 36, will be out for around eight months. White also announced that Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich will now fight for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 295.

In his first words since suffering the injury, Jones said in an Instagram video on Thursday (26 October): “Thank you to everybody who’s checked in with me to see how I was feeling. Obviously a very sad situation, very upset, but I’ve been through a lot of things in life, and injuries is a part of being an athlete.

“I want to thank the UFC for getting me into one of the best doctors in the country, Dr Neal ElAttrache. Thank you to Dr Neal ElAttrache and his staff members over here in California for seeing me so quick. I wanted to say thank you to Stipe Miocic for all the work that he’s put in. Also, sorry to Stipe and his team. This comes with the territory.

“Thank you to all my coaches and training partners, everyone who has helped me get this far – can’t even say to the fight, but the goal is to get surgery tomorrow and get back to work as soon as possible. I guess it’ll be Stipe and I at a later date, and that’s my plan.

“So, it’ll be surgery and physical therapy for me for the next several months, but I’m committed. I’m committed, and my head is high. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me, and I love you all.

“And again, sincere apology to the fans. I know some of you guys, it was a huge commitment to get out to Madison Square Garden [where UFC 295 will take place in New York City]. Hopefully these other heavyweights, Aspinall and Sergei, put on a great show for you guys. I may even show up to the event to watch. But I love you all, and your boy Jon Jones is doing okay, and I’ll be okay. Take care.”

Jones was expected by many fans to retire after fighting Miocic, 41. Jones’s heavyweight title win in March, when he submitted Ciryl Gane in Round 1, was the American’s first fight in three years and marked his debut in the division. Meanwhile, his compatriot Miocic has not fought since losing the heavyweight title to Francis Ngannou by knockout in March 2021.

The former co-main event of UFC 295 has been elevated to the main event, as ex-middleweight champion Alex Pereira fights former light-heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka for the vacant title at 205lbs.

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