- What: UFC 285 PPV card
- Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Time: Early Prelims (6:15 p.m. ET), Prelims (8 p.m. ET), Main Card (10 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Early Prelims (ESPN+) Prelims (ESPN). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)
Jon Jones first mentioned interest in pursuing a move to heavyweight in 2012. Jones was then the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion. Jones to heavyweight finally becomes official on Saturday when he faces Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title in the main event of the UFC 285 pay-per-view card, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN+ PPV. Here is some background on Jones and Gane, before we discuss the UFC 285 betting breakdown.
The UFC heavyweight title went up for grabs in January 2023 after the UFC and then-champion Francis Ngannou could not agree on contract terms. With that, Ngannou left the UFC as a free agent.
Jones has not fought since he defended the UFC light heavyweight title in February 2020 against Dominick Reyes. Jones won the fight by unanimous decision. Not long after that, citing issues with his pay, Jones relinquished the 205-pound title and began concentrating on his move to heavyweight. As for Gane, he is 11-1 as a pro and coming off a September knockout win over Tai Tuivasa. Gane’s one loss came in January 2022 when, after winning the interim title with a TKO of Derrick Lewis, he lost a title unification bout to Ngannou via unanimous decision.
Before we look at the best bets for the UFC 285 heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.
Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane picks
|To Win UFC 285 Main Event|
Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane breakdown and analysis
Jon Jones is the great unknown in this fight. We know that as Jones progressed through his run at the top of the light heavyweight division he sometimes struggled with his competition. That fact was most evident in his final two 205-pound title defenses against Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes. It’s hard to say if Jones’ issues in those fights were because of age, indifference, competition catching up to him or other outside the octagon issues, but there seemed to be something lacking in Jones in those fights. Will more than three years away and a move to a heavier weight class solve those problems? It’s hard to say and honestly, those questions will only be answered once we see how he looks against a true heavyweight fighter on Saturday night.
Ciryl Gane is an incredibly patient and technical striker. His goal is to do damage and leave the cage without taking punishment in return. That style can anger fans, but unlike some other fighters, Gane refuses to let the fans dictate his approach. He does not rush blindly into things and he will wait until his opponent creates an opening. Additionally, for a fighter as big as Gane is, he is nimble and athletic, thanks to his background in kickboxing.
Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane: who has the edge?
In his younger days, Jones would fight to his opponent’s strengths and get away with it. But that was a younger Jon Jones, fighting opponents mostly shorter than him and lacking his length and reach. He will have a reach advantage in this fight, but the fact that Jones has never fought at heavyweight before makes me nervous. If he tries to fight to Gane’s strength, which is kickboxing, he could find himself in deep water early. At heavyweight, one well-placed blow can end a fight.
However, Jones has wrestling to fall back on. If the former light heavyweight champion employs his takedown game and has the cardio to keep repeating those takedowns over the course of 25 minutes, he has a good chance of wearing down his opponent and eventually keeping him on the mat where he can use ground strikes or submission attempts to stay busy and sway the judges.
In the end, I think this one all comes down to how Jon Jones approaches the fight.
Best UFC 285 Bets
With so much unknown about Jones, I’m approaching UFC 285 as a value proposition. With that, I am siding with the known commodity and that is Ciryl Gane. I would not attempt to argue anyone out of picking Jones to win, but I can’t make that call because of the time he has spent away from the octagon, his last two fights and the fact that he has never fought at heavyweight. So with that, the best bet for the main event of UFC 285 is for Ciryl Gane to beat Jon Jones and claim the UFC heavyweight title.
Best UFC 285 main event picks: Ciryl Gane to beat Jon Jones.
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