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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Tom Aspinall reacts to Jon Jones faceoff: ‘I wasn’t there to be disrespectful’

Tom Aspinall meant no harm when he approached Jon Jones during a meet and greet, he said.

UFC interim heavyweight champion Aspinall caught heavyweight champion Jones off guard when he walked over to him during a sponsorship appearance at Arnold’s Sports Festival UK in Birmingham, England. The two had a friendly conversation, but it turned slightly awkward when Jones removed Aspinall’s hand from his shoulder.

Aspinall (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) says he was just trying to be friendly.

“I think he thought I was putting my hand on his shoulder being disrespectful,” Aspinall said in an interview with JN Media U.K. “But I wasn’t there to be disrespectful. I was doing it in a friendly way, I’m not trying to cause no beef. I’m trying to fight the guy and take his belt. That’s what I want. I have no beef against the guy and just wanted to meet him. Just friendly, nothing crazy.”

It’s no secret Aspinall has been campaigning for a title-unification bout with Jones (27-1 MMA, 21-1 UFC). However, with the UFC insistent on rebooking Jones vs. Stipe Miocic once Jones comes back from injury, Aspinall won’t hold his breath on a fight with Jones ever happening.

“I don’t think he’s going to fight me anyway,” Aspinall said. “I’d be very, very surprised if me and Jon Jones ever stepped into the octagon together. I’m trying to get the fight, but I’m not like trying to get it realistically. I’m trying to have a bit of fun and see what he’s all about.

“I don’t expect a fight to be off the back of this because in all honesty, I don’t think the UFC is going to go for it, and I don’t think Jon Jones is going to go for it, either. So I’m not deflated at all because I wasn’t expecting the fight anyway.”

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