UFC 285: The return of Jon Jones
Jon Jones (26-1), Hall of Famer and considered by some as the greatest ever in MMA, will make his long-awaited return to the octagon for UFC 285 on March 4th in the T-Mobile Arena. In doing so, he will also debut in a new division, heavyweight. Jones has long spoken of making the move up to heavyweight and with former title holder Francis Ngannou out of the picture, the time is right.
Jones, who last fought in 2020, looks to take hold of the Heavyweight World Title. The problem? Heavyweight #1 contender, Ciryl Gane. Gane (11-1) has only lost a 5-round decision to Francis Ngannou at UFC 270. He followed up that performance with a Fight of the Night performance, ending in a knockout victory over rising star Tai Tuivasa.
Gane has speed, wrestling, submissions, and knockout power. Since joining the UFC, Gane has produced five finishes in his nine bouts—no easy road for Jones to navigate. But this isn’t any fighter making his heavyweight debut, this is Jon “Bones” Jones, the youngest UFC champion in history.
It will be interesting to see how the time off and the division jump will affect Jones. Will he be as mobile as he was at 205? Can his stamina hold up over a potential 5-round technical fight? Will he have to work out the ring rust against a lethal threat in Gane? We only have to wait a few more days to find out!
Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane Betting Lines
Jones -160 / Gane +135
For my money, I am taking Gane at +135. He showed durability in going 5-rounds with Ngannou. He has the wrestling and groundwork complimentary to Jones. I know it may be dumb to bet against Jones, but the layoff and weight jump might be too much. O/U rounds haven’t been announced at the writing of this article. I’m expecting a decision, so I would lean the over regardless.
Shevchenko -625 / Grasso +450
As the odds predict, so do I. Alexa Grasso has looked great, but my money would be on Valentina Shevchenko, and via KO/TKO. No O/U on rounds at this time.
Shevchenko -625 KO/TKO
Garbrandt -170 / Trevin Jones +145
This is an intriguing line. At times Garbrandt looks like the best bantamweight on the planet. Other times…he doesn’t. Trevin Jones is no slouch either. Both guys are coming off a losing streak and hope to right the ship. I expect Garbrandt to bounce back.