UFC 285 live: Jones-Gane headlines stacked card

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: (L-R) Opponents Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane of France face off during the UFC 285 ceremonial weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jon Jones returns after a three-year layoff to face Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight championship on Saturday at UFC 285. (Getty Images)

The return of one of the most talented and polarizing fighters in UFC history takes place Saturday night at UFC 285 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Jon Jones versus Ciryl Gane is the main event of a stacked pay-per-view card that also features a women’s flyweight championship bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso.

Jones, the UFC’s long-time light heavyweight champion, returns to the Octagon after 37 months to fight for the vacant UFC heavyweight title, which was stripped from Francis Ngannou when he was unable to come to terms with the UFC on a new contract. Jones has never fought anyone as big and as athletic as Gane, a one-time interim champion. Still, Jones is a -185 favorite at BetMGM to defeat Gane and win a title in a second weight class. Gane is coming in at +155.

Jones, who is considered by many as the greatest MMA fighter of all time, hasn’t fought since defeating Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Feb. 8, 2020, in Houston. Gane is one of the greatest all-around athletes in the UFC. He’s fit, quick, explosive and presents numerous problems for his opponents. He’s not a one-dimensional guy who relies on big-time power. In his last fight in September, Gane knocked out Tai Tuivasa in Paris.

UFC 285: Jones-Gane picks, predictions

Kevin Iole: I love Gane’s total game, especially his footwork, but whenever I lean toward picking him I remember this: He was outwrestled by Francis Ngannou. Ngannou was a powerful striker but nowhere near the type of wrestler Jones is.

So when the going gets tough, I look for Jones to resort to his wrestling. I’ll play Jones to win here and lay the -185. I also like the fight to go the distance, which is -120 at BetMGM.

Mark Drumheller: I’m backing Jones because the versatility in his striking will keep Gane off balance enough to allow him to get the fight to the mat when needed. Jones isn’t a power puncher, but he has always excelled at maximizing his length, and he will still hold a three-inch reach advantage versus Gane. He has good knees in the clinch and lethal elbows that can change the complexion of the fight in seconds. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big dose of his oblique kicks early to disrupt Gane’s timing while Jones finds his range. Jones landed 40-plus kicks in two of his last three fights and will use his legs to help him crash distance. Once he is inside, he can tie up Gane, unload with elbows, or trips and sweeps, nullifying Gane’s offense by getting him on his back.

UFC 285 main card, odds (Start time 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV)

All odds via BetMGM.

  • Heavyweight: Jon Jones (-185) vs. Ciryl Gane (+155)

  • Women’s flyweight: Valentina Shevchenko (-900) vs. Alexa Grasso (+600)

  • Catchweight (175 lbs): Geoff Neal (+395) vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (-525)

  • Lightweight: Mateusz Gamrot (-210) vs. Jalin Turner (+170)

  • Middleweight: Bo Nickal (-1600) vs. Jamie Pickett (+900)

UFC 285 prelims, odds (Live now on ESPN/ESPN+)

  • Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt (-175) vs. Trevin Jones (+145)

  • Middleweight: Dricus Du Plessis def. Derek Brunson by TKO (punches) at 4:59 of R2

  • Women’s flyweight: Amanda Ribas def. Viviane Araujo by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-27)

  • Middleweight: Marc-Andre Barriault def. Julian Marquez by TKO (punches) at 4:12 of R2

UFC 285 early prelims full results, highlights

  • Bantamweight: Cameron Saaiman def. Mana Martinez by majority decision (29-26, 28-27, 28-28)

  • Women’s strawweight: Tabatha Ricci def. Jessica Penne by submission (arm bar) art 2:14 of R2:

  • Bantamweight: Farid Basharat def. Da’Mon Blackshear by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Lightweight: Loik Radzhabov def. Esteban Ribovics by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)