UFC 285: Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane preview and prediction

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 2: Jon Jones (L) and Ciryl Gane (R) face off at the UFC 285 press conference on March 1, 2023, at the KA Theatre in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 2: Jon Jones (L) and Ciryl Gane (R) face off at the UFC 285 press conference on March 1, 2023, at the KA Theatre in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire) /

Who will win and what will happen when Jon Jones faces off with Ciryl Gane at UFC 285?

Make way for considerably the greatest of all time and the best light heavyweight of this era, Jon “Bones” Jones (26-1).

With a legendary UFC resume of 11 title defenses and 26 wins, one feat remains for Jones to capture and that’s to complete the transition to the heavyweight division and secure the UFC title once more. On Saturday at UFC 285, Jones will return after a 3-year layoff to fight against Ciryl Gane (11-1) and each will attempt to claim history by retaining their first undisputed title at 265 pounds.

The highly anticipated comeback of Jones is finally here and a new title reign is in sight with a win. The last time he stepped foot inside the Octagon was in 2020 against Dominick Reyes, and the previous three times that he has fought have all been controversial or highly contested with all resulting in split or unanimous decisions. Jones’s last finish was via ground and pound against Alexander Gustafsson in 2018.

The fighter out of the blue corner is Ciryl Gane, who looks to go against all odds and be just the second fighter to defeat Jones (the first via a legitimate win and not due to DQ). Gane rebounded off his first career loss in a title fight against Francis Ngannou by earning a TKO victory over Tai Tuivasa in September.

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane prediction

Jones’ hiatus plays a major factor due to the uncertainty in his new physique and whether the extra eight will affect his movement, cardio, and speed significantly. The question of motivation and age also arises since Jones’s last two bouts at heavyweight were closely contested and the killer instinct seemed to dissipate.

Jones is one of the most well-rounded fighters to ever grace the Octagon and his gift to mix techniques up effectively will play a significant advantage in this matchup against Gane. Jones is favored in the grappling aspects of this fight due to his wrestling.

Gane’s movement, power, and recent Octagon time are the factors that outweigh his disadvantages come Saturday night. The deficiency that plays a significant role in this matchup is his takedown defense, which resulted in his first career loss last year against Ngannou for the undisputed heavyweight title.

In terms of striking, both fighters have an arsenal of weapons that are evenly matched. With a catalog of head kicks for highlights and ground and pound to finish their previous opponents it’s challenging to not see a finish from either man, but both men have never experienced that type of loss. I envision a competitive and technical fight that will ultimately lead to a decision for Jones to become the UFC heavyweight champ and solidify his status as one of the greatest in the sport.

Prediction: Jon Jones via unanimous decision.

UFC 285: Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane takes place on Saturday, March 4, 2023, live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your live results and highlights throughout fight week.