Jon Jones is confident that he will dominate Ciryl Gane and become the new UFC heavyweight champion at UFC 285 this Saturday night.
The former light heavyweight kingpin has been out of action for three years, but he has not lost his swagger or his skills.
In a recent interview, Jones revealed some of his thoughts on his opponent and why he believes he has fought better fighters than Gane.
“I feel like Ciryl Gane is a really good fighter,” Jones told Fox Sports Australia. “He’s special compared to most heavyweights. But I don’t feel like I fight like the other heavyweights at all. I can talk about it as much as I like but I’ll show you guys on Saturday.”
Jones, who has a record of 26-1 with one no contest, is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. He dominated the light heavyweight division for nearly a decade, defending his title 11 times against some of the best fighters in the sport. He vacated his belt in 2020 to pursue his dream of becoming a two-division champion.
Gane, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to MMA. The former Muay Thai champion made his professional debut in 2018 and quickly rose through the ranks of the heavyweight division with an impressive 10-0 record before eventually losing to Francis Ngannou at UFC 270. Gane has since bounced back with a knockout win against Tai Tuivasa in September last year.
Jones said he has studied Gane’s style and found some weaknesses that he plans to exploit.
“Gane is very predictable — he has patterns,” Jones said to Fox Sports. “He’s the type of guy that will throw the same kick three times in a row. When he’s in his orthodox stance, there are things that he does every time. When he’s in his southpaw stance, there are things that he does every time. I’m a big guy when it comes to studying footage and things like that and I’ve done my homework.”
Jones also dismissed Gane’s striking prowess, saying that he has faced more dangerous opponents in his career.
“Ciryl Gane has nothing that I haven’t seen before. Absolutely nothing. There’s no crazy, crazy speed, or really sharp boxing combinations or these extraordinary taekwondo kicks that come from weird angles. He’ll go for a spinning back kick — they’re sloppy — and he’ll miss half the time.”
“The fans are just so impressed by him. He bounces around. He has a quick jab. He bounces around and can retreat really quickly. But I’ve fought guys like Lyoto Machida. Guys who started kickboxing when they were four years old.”
Jones even went as far as to say that one of his former light heavyweight rivals could beat Gane at heavyweight.
“You know what? I’d go as far as to say that I believe that Thiago Santos at 205 pounds, if you catch him on a good night, I think Thiago Santos could beat a heavyweight Ciryl Gane.”
Santos was one of Jones’ toughest challengers at light heavyweight, losing by split decision at UFC 239 in July 2019 despite fighting with torn ligaments in both knees.
Jones also claimed that Gane has no ground game and poor takedown defense.
“His takedown defense is terrible,” Jones said. “He has no ground game. He has those ankle locks that we’re very prepared for.”
“I’m going to go out there and dominate this fight.”
UFC 285 will take place on March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main card will start at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) and will be available exclusively on ESPN+ pay-per-view for $74.99.
The prelims will start at 7:30 p.m. EST (4:30 p.m. PST) and will be broadcasted on ESPN and ESPN+.
To order UFC 285: Jones vs Gane and watch every fight live this Saturday night visit the official ESPN+ website.
Don’t miss this historic event as Jon Jones returns to face Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title.