Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will face off in UFC 285 for the heavyweight title, with Jones’ first fight in three years and first in this new division raising questions about how he will perform.
- Jones’ path to victory includes clinch work, takedowns, and kicks, while Gane is better positioned to win by avoiding grappling, leaning on his kicking game, throwing boxing combinations, and standing his ground.
- The fight is highly unpredictable, with the layoff, Jones’ added weight, and Gane’s questionable decisions in the cage making it difficult to call, but it is expected that Jones will win by split decision due to his more noticeable moments of offense.
On Saturday, the much-awaited UFC 285 will take place, featuring Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane in a heavyweight match for the vacant title. It will be Jones’ first fight in three years and his first in this new division, leading to a lot of questions about how he will perform. Will the layoff hurt him? Can Gane take home the gold? With so much at stake, let’s take a look at what each man needs to do to win this marquee matchup.
If Jon Jones has to win this fight, he must focus on clinch work, takedowns, and kicks. Jones is known for being the greatest clinch fighter in MMA history, and he should use this to his advantage. From the clinch, he can do a lot of different things, but his best moves are chokes and elbows. Jones should also focus on takedowns, as Gane has shown weakness in wrestling and grappling. If Jones can score takedowns, it will be difficult for Gane to get out from under him.
Additionally, Jones should rely on his favorite striking weapon, the oblique kick, to stymie Gane’s movement and keep pace at range. Given the way both men want to fight, a lot of this bout will likely be contested at long range. Catching Gane’s kicks and driving on them is also a valuable strategy for Jones.
On the other hand, Gane must make this fight look like his bout with Alexander Volkov, and he must rely on his movement and kicking style. For all of his many skills, Jones is not a great defensive boxer. Gane needs to throw routinely and with power early in the fight to keep Jones on the defensive. He should also use his karate-esque style and keep his distance from Jones, preventing him from creating clinches. Attacking low, particularly with the calf kick, will slow Jones’ movement and serve as a reliable way to score points while avoiding danger.
One X-factor in this fight is the layoff, as Jones hasn’t fought in three years and hasn’t looked good in almost five. Moving up a weight class and adjusting to the added weight could also pose a challenge for Jones. Another X-factor is Gane’s decision-making ability in the cage. Both men are expected to be cautious and could stare at each other from five feet away for long stretches, leading to a tough fight to watch.
Despite the uncertainty around the fight, I predict that Jon Jones will win by split decision (48–47, 47–48, 48–47). Jones’ clinch work, takedowns, and kicks should give him an edge in the fight, and he is expected to have more noticeable moments of offense. In conclusion, it will be an exciting fight to watch and one that will keep fans on the edge of their seats.