UFC 285 Jones vs Gane: Quick Preview & Early Thoughts

It’s finally fight week for UFC 285, which will feature the long-awaited return of Jon “Bones” Jones in the main event as he faces Cyril Gane for the vacant UFC Heavyweight title. Jones hasn’t fought in over three years and will be moving up a weight class for this fight against one of the most dangerous fighters in the division.

Jones last fought in February 2020 when he defended his UFC Light Heavyweight title in a very close decision victory over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. He vacated that title later that same year and announced his plans to move up to heavyweight.

After rumored matchups against Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic both fizzled out and a lengthy layoff, Jones will finally be making his return Saturday against Gane. Since Ngannou and the promotion were unable to come to a new agreement on a contract earlier this year, this fight will be to determine the new heavyweight champion.

That matchup headlines a card that currently has 14 fights scheduled, including a co-main event with UFC Women’s Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko putting her title on the line against Alexa Grasso. Shevchenko has reigned over the division for the better part of five years, but Grasso has shown to be more than deserving of a shot at her throne after putting together a four-fight winning streak of her own.

The rest of the main card features some very solid and interesting matchups as well. Shavkat Rakhmonov will look to continue his climb through the welterweight division when he faces Geoff Neal. Rakhmonov is a perfect 16-0 with a 100% stoppage rate and will be trying to continue his climb up the welterweight ranks.

Mateusz Gamrot is stepping in on short notice for a huge matchup in the lightweight division against Jalin Turner. Gamrot is hoping to get back into the win column here against one of the most dangerous fighters currently in the division. Turner has a 100% stoppage rate in his wins and is on a five-fight winning streak.

And in the first fight on the main card, highly touted prospect and DWCS alum Bo Nickal will make his UFC debut against Jamie Pickett. Nickal went 2-0 on the Contender Series last year to earn a UFC contract and is an extremely talented prospect in the middleweight division that I would recommend keeping an eye on moving forward.

Beyond the main card, there’s also a really solid lineup overall on the prelims and early prelims too. Cody Garbrandt will be returning to the bantamweight division and from year-plus layoff when he faces Trevin Jones. Derek Brunson will also be fighting Dricus Du Plessis in a battle of ranked middleweight contenders. Undefeated UFC welterweight Ian Garry and Song Kenan are currently scheduled as the featured early prelim for this card.

As far as betting goes for this card, Bo Nickal is comfortably the biggest favorite on the lineup with a Moneyline that opened at -1800 and is currently sitting in the same range. Shevchenko, Rakhmonov, and Garry each have lines that are currently at -500 or higher. While that is never an ideal thing to see, thankfully we have prop betting markets that we can dive into for more value.

There’s a handful of fighters that I love in their respective fights this weekend, so I’ll be looking for better value on most of these names and some other fights as well. If you checked out our UFC Vegas 70 Picks and Predictions last week or follow us on social media, you’ll also know my pick for the main event this weekend and another fighter I’ll be placing some bets on for Saturday.

Check back throughout the week for more information on this card, including a WagerWire Fighter Spotlight, Picks and Predictions, and all of our bets for the event!

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