Arguably the greatest of all time returns this weekend at Heavyweight as Jon ‘Bones’ Jones enters to the Octagon to face ferocious French kickboxer Ciryl Gane in the UFC 285 main event. In the co-main Valentina Shevchenko looks to secure her eighth title defense against Mexico’s Alexa Grasso and Bo Nickal and Shavkat Rakhmonov both put their undefeated records on the line on the main card. We take a look at the two title fights and one on the undercard below.
UFC 285 Preview & Betting Picks
Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane
Jon Jones is back and his return at Heavyweight is finally here this weekend as he faces off with Ciryl Gane for the Heavyweight strap. Jon Jones has never been defeated in the Octagon and a lot has been made around whether he can hang with Heavyweights and I think the entire point is being missed. Jones has always been durable, he took some of Thiago Santos’ best shots almost nonchalant and don’t expect him to start dropping when he takes shots from Heavyweights. He will also be faster and stronger than most heavyweights and he also has both striking and wrestling to lean on. Jones is the complete package and I see no reason why he cant turn away Heavyweight after Heavyweight and solidify himself as the greatest of all time.
In saying all of that Ciryl Gane is far from an easy fight. He is the best striker in the division and if he can control the range of this fight he can win round after round. Gane is also very strong in the clinch, meaning Jones will have to be careful in clinch situations along the fence.
However, Jones’ fight IQ is the best in the game and I find it hard to see how he doesn’t mix things up, use his wrestling and elbows to slice up Gane and prove why he has been the best for the past decade.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso
Without any disrespect to Alexa Grasso who is a solid fighter, this is Shevchenko’s easiest title fight apart from Jessica Eye. Grasso is a crisp boxer who has worked on her grappling since being submitted by Tatiana Suarez a few years back but doesn’t have the power or range of tools required to challenge Valentina Shevchenko. Shevchenko is the complete package who even on an off day managed to grind out Talia Santos to edge a decision victory. Grasso is outgunned on the mat and also from kickboxing range, requiring her in this fight to force herself into the pocket. If she charges in she will be met with nasty kicks, hooks or inside trips and I expect this to be an absolute clinic by the champ, so bank of Shevchenko to get it done and by stoppage.
Cody Garbrandt vs. Trevin Jones
Cody Garbrandt had one of the most meteoric rises before claiming UFC gold but has since had one of the most meteoric falls. Since winning the belt in 2017 he has only secured one win and has a big step down in opposition here in Trevin Jones who has lost three of his last four and if he is to lose this weekend, likely is cut from the organisation. Jones will have some confidence in testing Garbrandts chin which is notoriously fragile but ‘No Love’ comes into this off a year’s break. Garbrandt has fantastic footwork and a piston of a jab which is often followed by a right hook. Jones is a southpaw, meaning Garbrandt is in less danger of this combination being countered which bodes well for ‘No Love’. Gardbrandt secures a vicious knockout victory in a promising return.