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The heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane is fastly approaching, and there's a lot of excitement building around this fight. Handicapper WeBeatTheSpread is here to break down his prediction and pick.
ANALYSIS

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane Prediction: Who Can We Trust with Heavyweight Title on the Line at UFC 285?

Jon "Bones" Jones is 26-1, with the only loss coming by disqualification. Ciryl Gane is 11-1, with his only loss coming to the former champion, Francis Ngannou. Jones is making his heavyweight debut after dominating the light heavyweight division for over a decade, while Gane is coming off an impressive win against Tai Tuivasa in his last fight. The bout will be held on March 4th, 2023, and it promises to be an exciting fight for UFC fans around the world. Jones is the current betting favorite, coming in at -165. Who will become the undisputed heavyweight champion on Saturday night?

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Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane Start Time, Where to Watch, Odds

  • When: Saturday, March 4, 2023, 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+

Click here for Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane odds

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane Prediction

Gane's performance in his last fight was a thing of beauty. His movement on his feet was incredible, and he was able to land some impressive strikes on his Tuivasa. He is one of the most talented strikers in the heavyweight division right now, and his ability to stay light on his feet and engage in solid footwork during the entire fight is unmatched.

Jones, on the other hand, is known for his wrestling and his ability to finish high-level fighters with devastating ground and pound while also good Muay Thai on the feet. This is something that Gane will have to be ready for if he wants to come out of this fight victorious. Jones is a very good wrestler and has finished some of the best fighters in the history of the UFC with ground and pound, so Gane must devise a solid strategy to avoid being taken down and finished on the ground.

To get Gane to the ground, Jones must close the distance on an excellent striker and counter-puncher in Ciryl Gane, which can be dangerous. Gane's quick movement and striking ability will make it difficult for Jones to close the distance, and if he's not careful, he could find himself eating some heavy shots from Gane.

Another thing that's worth considering is that Jones is making his debut at heavyweight after spending his entire career in light heavyweight. It will be interesting to see how he debuts in the highest weight class of the UFC and whether he can make the transition successfully. We don't see fighters debut in a new weight class in a title fight often, and it usually doesn't go well. Jones will have to come up with a solid game plan if he wants to take the belt home, despite being regarded as the best of all time.

Jones has been out of the octagon for three years now, and there may be some ring rust after such a long layoff. It's hard to say how he'll perform after such a long break from the sport and whether he'll be able to return to his dominant form. He has also dealt with a lot of drama outside of the octagon, and it's hard to say if that has or will affect his performance inside the cage. However, Jones is a fighter who always rises to the occasion, and he'll be motivated to make a statement in his debut fight in the heavyweight division.

Jones will go down as maybe the best UFC fighter of all time. He has had a dominant run of 14 title defenses and did not lose a single one while knocking off some of the best names in UFC history that will be in the hall of fame. His talent and skill are undeniable, and if anyone can make the transition to heavyweight successfully, it's Jones. But there are reasons to worry.

Gane is still young in his career and is only 32, which is not old for a heavyweight. He only has nine UFC fights under his belt but has quickly established himself as a top name in the division due to his smart fight style, elite striking, and quick movement. Gane's performance in his last fight against Tai Tuivasa showed that he has the skills and abilities to compete at the highest level, and he'll be motivated to prove that he's the best heavyweight in the UFC. I understand Tai Tuivasa is not at all comparable to Jon Jones, but the pieces are all there for Gane.

Francis Ngannou was able to mix in wrestling and take Gane down four times in their fight, which was Gane's only loss in his career. I see people drawn to this as a reason Gane will get taken down by Jones, but I disagree. Gane was not expecting Ngannou to use wrestling, and he may not have even trained for it in camp. Gane certainly knows and expects Jones will want to take this fight to the mat, which at least makes it more manageable in the cage because he is prepared for it. Ngannou was also a much bigger frame and stronger, while Jones is moving up a weight class. I expect Gane to be the stronger fighter with the broader frame on Saturday, which was not the case against Ngannou.

On the feet, Gane can win this fight. Jones has looked more and more human over his most recent fights. He was outstruck on the feet against Dominick Reyes, although he still ended up winning. In the fight before that, he barely edged out a split decision victory over Thiago Santos, a fight that was debated by the public, with many people believing Santos won the fight. Santos injured his leg early in the fight and still arguably did more damage on the feet to Jones. The judges ultimately sided with the defending champion on the scorecards, as they often do in close fights. One judge gave the fight to Santos, however, showing that it is possible to beat Jones on the feet, even with a leg injury.

At the end of the day, I love these odds on Gane. Everyone sees a 26-1 number next to Jones, and the long line of title wins and assumes -165 is free money. However, I see this fight a lot closer. Jones is debuting at a new weight class after a three-year layoff and has been dealing with issues outside the cage. He has also looked beatable over his last few fights before the layoff. Gane moves exceptionally well for a heavyweight and can use his movement to stave off takedown attempts. If this fight stays standing, I see no reason to believe Gane to edge out a win here, so I love getting him at great odds. I'm on Jones to be handed his first official loss in the octagon (outside of a disqualification).

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane Pick

Article Author

NCAABBoxing/MMAMLBNHL

Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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