Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane

The UFC returns to Las Vegas this weekend with a blockbuster event that features two title fights and the long-awaited comeback of one of the greatest fighters of all time.

In the main event of UFC 285, Jon Jones will make his heavyweight debut against Ciryl Gane for the vacant belt, after Francis Ngannou parted ways with the promotion over contract disputes. Jones, who dominated the light heavyweight division for almost a decade, has been out of action since 2020 when he vacated his title to pursue new challenges at heavyweight.

Gane, on the other hand, had been on a tear during this time, winning seven straight fights in the UFC, and showcasing his striking prowess and athleticism. Gane was eventually defeated by Ngannou in a UFC Heavyweight Championship fight in January 2022, but was then able to bounce back with a third-round KO win against Tai Tuivasa in September last year.

The fight between Jones and Gane is not only a clash of styles but also a clash of eras, as Jones seeks to cement his legacy as the best ever while Gane aims to claim his first undisputed title and usher in a new generation of heavyweights.

  • When: Saturday, March 4
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • How to watch: Order ESPN+ PPV now

Jon Jones

Jon Jones (26-1-1) is widely regarded as one of the most talented and accomplished fighters in MMA history.

He became the youngest UFC champion ever at age 23 when he defeated Mauricio Rua for the light heavyweight belt in 2011. He then defended his title eight times against some of the best fighters in his division, such as Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, and Lyoto Machida.

However, Jones also faced several controversies outside the cage that tarnished his reputation and jeopardized his career. He was involved in multiple legal issues involving drugs, alcohol and hit-and-run incidents that led to suspensions and stripped titles. He also tested positive for banned substances on several occasions that resulted in fines and overturned results.

Despite these setbacks, Jones always managed to bounce back and reclaim his throne at light heavyweight. In 2020, he decided to vacate his title and move up to heavyweight after clearing out his division.

He has been training for his heavyweight debut since then but has not fought due to failed negotiations with the UFC over pay-per-view points.

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane: A heavyweight showdown for the ages 1Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane: A heavyweight showdown for the ages 2

Ciryl Gane

Ciryl Gane (11-1) is one of the most promising heavyweight prospects in MMA today. He started his combat sports career as a Muay Thai fighter in France before transitioning to MMA in 2018.

He joined the UFC in 2019 after only three professional fights and quickly rose through the ranks with impressive wins over Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Alexander Volkov.

He earned a shot at the interim heavyweight title in August 2021 when he faced Derrick Lewis in Houston, Texas. Gane dominated Lewis with his speed, technique, and volume, finishing him by TKO in round three. He became the first French fighter to win a UFC title and set up a unification bout with Francis Ngannou, his former training partner.

However, Gane failed to dethrone Ngannou when they clashed at UFC 270 and went on to lose a unanimous decision after surprisingly being outwrestled by the heavyweight champion on the night.

Gane has since returned to form with a knockout win against Tai Tuivasa in front of his home crowd at UFC Paris in September 2022, the first-ever UFC event on French soil.

Now, after Ngannou’s departure from the UFC, Gane finds himself in a highly-anticipated bout against arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history.

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane: A heavyweight showdown for the ages 1Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane: A heavyweight showdown for the ages 2

Jones vs. Gane fight preview

The fight between Jones and Gane is a fascinating matchup of two very different fighters. Jones is known for his versatility, creativity, and adaptability. He can fight effectively at any range, using his long reach (84 inches), diverse striking arsenal (elbows, knees and kicks), and his elite wrestling skills. He also has a high fight IQ and can adjust his game plan according to his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.

Gane is a striking specialist who relies on his speed, accuracy, and footwork. He has excellent Muay Thai skills, using his jab, kicks, knees, and elbows to damage his opponents. He also has good defensive skills, avoiding most of the strikes thrown at him with his head movement and angles. He is not as experienced as Jones in grappling and was notably outworked on the ground by Ngannou.

Jones has the edge in experience, wrestling, and durability. He has faced tougher competition than Gane and has never been finished in his career. But Jones has also been involved in some disputed decisions in his most recent fights against Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes and also his first fight with Alexander Gustafsson.

The obvious variable in this fight, however, is how Jones will perform with a bulkier frame now that he has moved up to heavyweight. A slower Jones only plays into the strengths of Gane, such as his excellent striking technique and speed. Jones was never known for his speed even at light heavyweight so there’s a fair chance that he could be too slow for Gane on fight night.

Our expert staff predictions for Jones vs. Gane will be posted later in fight week. Check our UFC predictions section now to see picks and analysis before every UFC 285 fight. Or sign up below to get our picks delivered to your inbox.

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane is one of the most anticipated fights of 2023 as it will determine the new UFC heavyweight champion after Francis Ngannou’s departure. Both fighters are elite athletes who have dominated their respective divisions with their skills and talents.

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane is the main event of this Saturday’s UFC 285 event in Las Vegas. Order the PPV now on ESPN+ to watch every fight live this Saturday night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *