P4P Best?! Aspinall ‘Right Up There’ With Makhachev

Jon Jones isn’t going to like to hear this.

The pound-for-pound (P4P) debate is a never-ending one in mixed martial arts (MMA), and that’s essentially all it’s good for, really: debate. 2023 was a big year for the talks as we saw two collisions between who most considered the top two in the sport, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion and Featherweight champion, Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski.

Makhachev wound up victorious in each bout, which resulted in his current placement atop UFC’s official list. Now sitting between Makhachev and Volkanovski at No. 2 is the aforementioned current undisputed Heavyweight champion, Jones. However, if former Middleweight titleholder, Michael Bisping, had it his way, his fellow British champion, Tom Aspinall, would be right in that mix.

“The general consensus is that Islam is pound-for-pound No. 1 and the way he beat Volkanovski was impressive,” Bisping told BetWay. “If you beat No. 1 in Volkanovski, I guess you then become the man. Jon Jones also comes into that conversation. I think Jones is the G.O.A.T., but is he the pound-for-pound No. 1? He beat Cyril Gane last time, prior to that it was Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos. No disrespect to them but they weren’t the big-name champions like the Quinton Jackson’s, the Rashad Evans’s when Jon established his name. So, for me, the pound-for-pound [best] is either Islam Mackhachev or Tom Aspinall.

“I’ve got Tom right up there as well,” he concluded. “When you look at the skills he’s got and how he’s going straight through everybody. But I’d say Islam’s No. 1, Apinall is No. 2, and Jon’s No. 3 based on current form.”

As an interim champion, Aspinall normally could expect to face Jones in a unification bout for his next time out. Unfortunately, the promotion is sticking to the idea of rebooking Jones’ would-be last fight, a match up with former champion, Stipe Miocic. Therefore, Aspinall is left waiting and wondering who he’ll defend his placeholder crown against in the meantime as Jones recovers and returns to face Miocic.

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