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Jones v Gane fight preview & best bets – UFC 285 main event

Jon Jones v Ciryl Gane UFC 285 betting tips

Jon Jones v Ciryl Gane

Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Jones -175.44 at Bovada | Gane +140 at Bovada
When Saturday, March 4 – main card from 7pm PST
Where T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Watch Live ESPN+ PPV (US), BT Sport (UK), Main Event (AU)

UFC 285 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas sees the long-awaited return of Jon Jones as he lines up against Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight crown. This is a must-watch contest between the sport’s most decorated athlete and a legitimate title contender. The matchup poses a range of questions that can only be decided when two of the best fighters on the planet square off for all the spoils.

Jon Jones (26-1-0) is regarded by many pundits as the UFC’s greatest ever fighter. The other name that gets mentions in such discussions is Khabib Nurmagomedov, but he only defended his belt thrice, while Jones successfully defended the light heavyweight belt on 11 occasions. Jones was the youngest UFC champion of all time, securing his title at only 23. His career may have been dogged by controversy, from failed doping tests, multiple arrests and legal mishaps, but when the door of the octagon is locked shut, Jones remains undefeated.

The Jones record does contain a no-contest, after he tested positive for banned substance turinabol, and a ‘loss’ that resulted from a disqualification for throwing an illegal elbow. Other than these aberrations, the Jones legacy is one of unbeaten domination. So, what makes him so good? How has the Albuquerque native remained at the top of the sport for so long?

The answer is that Jones is blessed with genetic advantages that his opponents have been unable to overcome, such as height and reach, but he also possesses the widest array of attacking weapons in the sport. Jones has no holes in his game; he throws every type of high and low kick from long range, has effective boxing from mid-range, throws devastating knees and elbows from close range, and is an excellent grappler and wrestler with effective takedowns and ground-and-pound.

The only times Jones has struggled inside the ring has been against fighters that negated his physical advantages, like Alexander Gustafsson. The pair fought a razor close contest that Jones only won after producing a fifth-round surge to grab the points victory. Against shorter men who were unable to deal with the range disadvantage, Jones has rarely looked vulnerable.

READ: Shevchenko v Grasso betting picks – UFC 285

Ciryl Gane (11-1-0) is a worthy contender for the heavyweight title. The Frenchman has a single loss on his record, against then-champion Francis Ngannou when the pair met in January 2022. Gane possesses amazing athletic ability and is one of the most technically gifted fighters on the UFC roster. His balance and movement is fluid and graceful for a man of his size, and his striking is on par with what Jones can deliver.

Gane is a late bloomer who only started fighting seriously in his twenties. He made his kickboxing debut in 2016 aged 26 and was signed to the UFC in 2019. He stands 6’4″, the same as Jones, but will have to overcome a four-inch reach disadvantage. This does not pose a huge concern, given Gane’s movement and footwork. He will struggle if taken down, but as long as the fighters remain upright, this contest looks like a 50/50 proposition. Unlike many heavyweights that recklessly chase the knockout victory, Gane is a patient fighter that picks his shots and does enough to win the round.

Gane’s big advantage is that his opponent is coming off a long layoff and fighting at heavyweight for the first time ever. The Frenchman is known as a lazy trainer, who only enters the gym when a fight has been booked, but ring rust will not be an issue given his frequent MMA bouts since 2019.

So, how do we split these two? If Jones were not coming off such a long break, and had proven himself at 265 pounds, this would be a no-brainer. But those hurdles must be overcome, and Gane might be the man to capitalise.

UFC betting markets opened with coin-flip odds but now favour Jones. We are leaning the other way. If Gane can keep the fight upright and slip the Jones jab to fire off heavy shots, he has every chance to prevail. Jones has never faced an opponent with true heavyweight punching power, and Gane’s current price is just too tempting to pass up.

Ciryl Gane to win


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