Daniel Cormier thinks UFC 295 might’ve ended up with a better heavyweight title fight.
The original title fight was scrapped after a torn pectoral muscle forced heavyweight champion Jon Jones out of his first title defense against Stipe Miocic on Nov. 11 at Madison Square Garden in New York. As a result, the promotion decided to book Sergei Pavlovich (18-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) vs. Tom Aspinall (13-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC) for the interim belt.
With both Aspinall and Pavlovich showing tons of promise and championship potential to this point in their careers, Cormier believes their fight could end up delivering more than Jones vs. Miocic would have.
“We might have fallen in love with the idea of Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic for what they’ve been to the game, and we may overestimate the value of the fight,” Cormier said on his ESPN show “DC & RC.” “Because Pavlovich vs. Tom Aspinall may be a better fight.”
Cormier argues that former champion Miocic’s long layoff leaves a lot of question marks on how his fight with Jones could pan out, whereas Pavlovich and Aspinall are very much in their primes.
“You’re getting Pavlovich vs. Aspinall, two of the best heavyweights in the world,” Cormier said. “What I am implying to you is that we don’t know who Stipe is today at 41 when we haven’t seen him since 39. I’m not saying he’s not going to be the same guy. I’m just saying that now, we have two young, hungry lions fighting for a portion of the heavyweight championship.
“… Right now, I don’t know if the world is looking at the Miocic-Jones fight and thinking, ‘Boy, this is going to be amazing.’ But was it going to be amazing in 2015, 2016, or is it going to be amazing today? That’s all I’m saying. What I do know is the new (co)-main event at UFC 295 is going to be amazing today because these two young heavyweights are unbelievable heavyweights. It’s going to be an amazing fight, and it might be a better, more competitive fight than Jones vs. Miocic is.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.