- Jon Jones is the favorite at -165.
- Ciryl Gane is the underdog at +135.
- The winner will be crowned as UFC's new heavyweight champion.
A new UFC Heavyweight Champion will be crowned this Saturday, March 4, 2023, inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (26-1) faces the number one-ranked contender and former interim champion Ciryl Gane (11-1) in the main event of UFC 285. This match was the aftermath of Francis Ngannou’s relinquishment of the title and release from the UFC after negotiations for his new contract fell apart.
— UFC (@ufc) February 25, 2023
Despite having a three-year hiatus from the sport and being the debutant in the division, Jones is still the favorite in BetMGM’s online sportsbook at -165, while Gane comes in as the underdog in UFC odds at +135. It will be a massive match for both athletes because if Jones wins, he will stamp his status as the greatest MMA fighter of all time; meanwhile, if Gane gets the victory, he will be the first man to beat Jones in an MMA match legitimately.
Jon Jones Recent Fight Result
Jon Jones joined the UFC in 2008 with an impeccable record of six wins, which are all finishes. He debuted in August 2008 against Andre Gusmao and picked up a unanimous decision victory. Shortly after, “Bones” collected two wins over Stephen Bonnar and Jake O’Brien to extend his streak to three. However, in his fourth UFC bout, Jones suffered a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill in December 2009 due to illegal elbow strikes.
Despite that hiccup in his record, Jones continued his meteoric rise to the sport by scoring three straight stoppage wins over Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ryan Bader. These victories earned him the right to challenge Mauricio Rua for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title in March 2011, and Jones maximized the opportunity.
Jones TKO’ed Rua in the third round of their title showdown to become the youngest UFC champion in history at just 23 years old. The fighter out of Rochester, New York, continued his dominant reign in the 205-pound division with eight successive title defenses against Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira and Daniel Cormier.
After his title defense over Cormier in January 2015, Jones was stripped of his title and was slapped with an indefinite suspension from the UFC due to his involvement in a hit-and-run incident. He returned to competition in April 2016 and beat Ovince Saint Preux unanimously to capture the interim light heavyweight belt. Fifteen months later, Jones and Cormier fought in a title unification rematch in July 2017.
“Bones” initially won the fight against Cormier, but it was overturned to a no-contest affair as Jones failed a drug test after the fight, forcing him out of competition for another year. Jones reclaimed his title in December 2018 with a third-round stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson in their second meeting to become a two-time title-holder.
Before leaving the light heavyweight division for good, Jones added three more title defenses over Anthony Smith (unanimous decision in March 2019), Thiago Santos (split decision in July 2019) and Dominick Reyes (unanimous decision in February 2020) to cement his status as the greatest UFC Light Heavyweight Champion of all time.
Ciryl Gane Recent Fight Result
Before transitioning to MMA, Ciryl Gane was an undefeated Muay Thai fighter who racked up 13 wins during his tenure in the sport. He officially made his MMA debut in August 2018, quickly picked up three victories, and hoisted a title outside of the UFC. Because of this, the Dana White-headed promotion took notice and signed him in 2019.
“Bon Gamin” made his UFC debut in August 2019 and was quickly impressed by submitting Raphael Pessoa in the opening round. Gane followed it up with two more victories against Don’Tale Mayes (third-round submission in October 2019) and Tanner Bosser (unanimous decision in December 2019). Because of these impressive wins, the Frenchman started a hype train behind him.
This hype train surrounding Gane was tested when he faced former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos in December 2020, and he passed the test with flying colors as he TKO’ed Santos in the second round. The 32-year-old sustained his momentum by beating Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov unanimously in February and June 2021.
Those five straight wins under the promotion were enough for Gane to be pitted against UFC’s knockout king Derrick Lewis in August 2021 for the interim heavyweight title. Once again, Gane proved he is the real deal after securing a third-round finish against the “Black Beast.” Following that interim title triumph, the Paris native fought his former sparring partner Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight unification title match in January 2021.
Unfortunately, he came up short against Ngannou, who outlasted him via unanimous decision and retained his coveted belt. In his previous fight, Gane headlined the first-ever UFC event in his home country, France, where he locked horns with Tai Tuivasa. “Bon Gamin” gave local fans the victory by knocking out Tuivasa in the third round.
Jones vs. Gane: Tale of the Tape and Fight Analysis
The tale of the tape between Jones and Gane gives the former three-and-a-half inches of reach advantage and three inches of leg reach at 84.5 and 45 against the latter’s 81 inches and 42 inches. Both fighters have the same height at 6-foot-4. Record-wise, they both only have one defeat in their tallies, with Gane having the longer fight time average of 16:07 compared to Jones, who has 15:28.
Stylistically, it will be a clash between two different fighting styles because Jones has a strong background in Greco-Roman wrestling and Gane parading his Muay Thai foundation, which is heavy on striking. The key for Jones is for him to take the fight on the ground, as Gane had troubles in that aspect, evident in his loss to Ngannou.
On the other hand, Gane’s path to triumph is for him to stop the takedown attempts, impose his bigger body frame, and stay on the feet, where he can fully utilize his lethal striking combinations. His welterweight-like agility and mobility will also play a significant role in keeping the distance between him and Jones, thus preventing a clinch battle with the former light heavyweight champion.
If Gane successfully avoids being taken down, it will be a long night for Jones as he can continuously pour on his powerful strikes. This formula of staying on the feet was proven effective by Jones’ former opponents Lyoto Machida, Alexander Gustafsson, Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes, wherein they found success in inflicting damage to “Bones.”
Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Ciryl Gane.
See the entire Jones vs. Gane odds and wagers here.
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