Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC 285, we will see the return of arguably the greatest fighter of all time. Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) makes his highly anticipated return as he takes on former interim heavyweight champ Ciryl Gane (11-1) for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
In early 2020, Jon Jones defeated Dominick Reyes to retain his light heavyweight championship. After the fight was over, Jones indicated that he wanted to vacate the light heavyweight title to focus on his move to heavyweight. It took a very long time, but we have finally arrived at his heavyweight debut.
The UFC wanted to have Jones face former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. However, when the promotion and Ngannou couldn’t come to terms on a new deal, Ciryl Gane got the call to take on arguably the best of all time.
Last January, Gane lost a decision to Francis Ngannou for the undisputed title. He bounced back very strong later in the year at UFC Paris when he knocked out Tai Tuivasa. Now, he’s looking to dethrone the GOAT and capture undisputed gold.
UFC 285 Prediction
One of the things that made Jon Jones so difficult at light heavyweight was his length and range. While he does still slightly have a range advantage against Gane, it’s no where near the advantage that he would have at 205. That could play a factor tomorrow night.
If these two get into a point-fighting kickboxing match, Ciryl Gane has a path to victory. I’m expecting him to work a lot of leg kicks while trying to use his movement to be ellusive. Meanwhile, I expect Jones to plot forward and put a lot of pressure on Gane.
Gane struggling with the wrestling of Francis Ngannou. Ngannou is not known for his wrestling while wrestling is Jon Jones’ base. I’m expecting a very heavy pressure style from Jones tomorrow night. Lots of pressure and lots of grappling.
I have a feeling that Gane will have success stuffing some takedowns early. You might even see Gane win a round or two. However, as the fight goes on, I think Jones finds a way to grind out at least three rounds on his way to becoming UFC heavyweight champion.
Prediction: Jon Jones by Decision