Fight card, odds and predictions as Jon Jones, Ciryl Gane vie for heavyweight title

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: (L-R) Opponents Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane of France face off during the UFC 285 ceremonial weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jon Jones returns after a three-year layoff to face Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight championship on Saturday at UFC 285. (Getty Images)

The return of one of the crucial proficient and polarizing fighters in UFC historical past takes place Saturday night time at UFC 285 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Jon Jones versus Ciryl Gane is the primary occasion of a stacked pay-per-view card that additionally includes a ladies’s flyweight championship bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso.

Jones, the UFC’s long-time mild heavyweight champion, returns to the Octagon after 37 months to struggle for the vacant UFC heavyweight title, which was stripped from Francis Ngannou when he was unable to return to phrases with the UFC on a brand new contract. Jones has by no means fought anybody as large and as athletic as Gane, a one-time interim champion. Still, Jones is a -185 favourite at BetMGM to defeat Gane and win a title in a second weight class. Gane is coming in at +155.

Jones, who is taken into account by many as the best MMA fighter of all time, hasn’t fought since defeating Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Feb. 8, 2020, in Houston. Gane is without doubt one of the biggest all-around athletes within the UFC. He’s match, fast, explosive and presents quite a few issues for his opponents. He’s not a one-dimensional man who depends on big-time energy. In his final struggle in September, Gane knocked out Tai Tuivasa in Paris.

UFC 285: Jones-Gane picks, predictions

Kevin Iole: I like Gane’s complete recreation, particularly his footwork, however each time I lean towards choosing him I bear in mind this: He was outwrestled by Francis Ngannou. Ngannou was a strong striker however nowhere close to the kind of wrestler Jones is.

So when the going will get powerful, I search for Jones to resort to his wrestling. I’ll play Jones to win right here and lay the -185. I additionally just like the struggle to go the space, which is -120 at BetMGM.

Mark Drumheller: I’m backing Jones as a result of the flexibility in his putting will hold Gane off steadiness sufficient to permit him to get the struggle to the mat when wanted. Jones isn’t an influence puncher, however he has at all times excelled at maximizing his size, and he’ll nonetheless maintain a three-inch attain benefit versus Gane. He has good knees within the clinch and deadly elbows that may change the complexion of the struggle in seconds. I wouldn’t be stunned to see a giant dose of his indirect kicks early to disrupt Gane’s timing whereas Jones finds his vary. Jones landed 40-plus kicks in two of his final three fights and can use his legs to assist him crash distance. Once he’s inside, he can tie up Gane, unload with elbows, or journeys and sweeps, nullifying Gane’s offense by getting him on his again.

UFC 285 important card, odds (Start time 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV)

All odds through BetMGM.

  • Heavyweight: Jon Jones (-185) vs. Ciryl Gane (+155)

  • Women’s flyweight: Valentina Shevchenko (-900) vs. Alexa Grasso (+600)

  • Catchweight (175 lbs): Geoff Neal (+395) vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (-525)

  • Lightweight: Mateusz Gamrot (-210) vs. Jalin Turner (+170)

  • Middleweight: Bo Nickal (-1600) vs. Jamie Pickett (+900)

UFC 285 prelims, odds (Start time 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN+)

  • Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt (-175) vs. Trevin Jones (+145)

  • Middleweight: Derek Brunson (+185) vs. Dricus Du Plessis (-225)

  • Women’s flyweight: Viviane Araujo (EV) vs. Amanda Ribas (-120)

  • Middleweight: Julian Marquez (+125) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (-150)

UFC 285 early prelims, odds (Start time 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass)

  • Welterweight: Ian Garry (-750) vs. Song Kenan (+500)

  • Bantamweight: Mana Martinez (+225) vs. Cameron Saaiman (-275)

  • Women’s strawweight: Jessica Penne (+240) vs. Tabatha Ricci (-300)

  • Bantamweight: Da’Mon Blackshear (+340) vs. Farid Basharat (-450)

  • Lightweight: Loik Radzhabov (-225) vs. Esteban Ribovics (+185)

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