One of the biggest stars in UFC history will make both his return after three years and his debut in a new weight class during the main event of UFC 285 on Saturday night.
Jon Jones (26-1) of Albuquerque squares off against Ciryl Gane (11-1) of Paris in a bout to fill the vacant heavyweight championship at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The fight is the first for Jones, the dominant longtime light heavyweight titleholder, since February 2020.
Jones, 35, is an undeniably incredible competitor. He holds the UFC record for title fight victories with 14, and his only loss was a highly questionable disqualification in 2009. He also has had more than his fair share of legal trouble and has run afoul of the sport’s regulators for the use of banned substances.
Jones, who vacated the 205-pound title to move up to heavyweight, will take on one of the division’s top competitors in Gane, 32. The converted kickboxer is a former interim heavyweight titleholder who is 8-1 in UFC competition.
His sole loss during that span was to Francis Ngannou, who recently left UFC with the championship after failing to come to a new deal with the promotion. That both opened the door for this title fight to fill the vacancy while also making the UFC’s claim that the winner of this bout is the best heavyweight in the world a highly debatable topic.
There’s no doubt about where things stand in the women’s flyweight division, however. In the co-feature bout, Kyrgyzstan’s Valentina Shevchenko (23-3) puts her 125-pound title on the line against Alexa Grasso (15-3) of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Shevchenko, 34, has successfully defended her title seven times, which puts her one ahead of Ronda Rousey’s legendary bantamweight reign for most successful defense by a woman during a single reign in UFC history. In Grasso, 29, she meets an opponent who has won four straight.
–Field Level Media
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