News broke this week that one of the fights at UFC 285 will be changed. Thankfully, the main event bout between Jon Jones and Cyril Gane is still scheduled, as the change is on the undercard. Julio Arce has been forced to pull out with a severe knee injury – a torn CL plus other damage – so Cody Garbrandt is looking for a new opponent. Garbrandt will be anxious to still be on the card, with Jones vs. Gane expected to pull a big rating.
Jones vs. Gane
Jones and Gane will be facing off at the T-Moble Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 4 as the headline bout of UFC 285. It is an exciting matchup that sees the legendary Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) moving up to heavyweight for the first time. He could certainly have picked an easier opponent for his weight class debut, with Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) boasting a stellar record of his own inside the octagon.
Jones hasn’t fought since February 2020, meaning he will have three years of rust to shake off by the time of the fight. He was a dominant champion at light heavyweight, helped by his 6-foot-4-inch frame and 84.5-inch reach. Jones won’t have the same physical advantages as a heavyweight. This could be an issue, especially since many of the fights where Jones struggled at his former weight were against fighters with similar physical traits.
Gane has the height to trouble, Jones. He also stands around 6-foot-4, but his reach is significantly shorter. What he lacks in reach, Gane makes up for with agility. Agility will be Jones’ biggest question mark with a bigger frame, and we won’t know until the fight how well he moves, what techniques he can use, and how fast he will be when trying to exploit a weakness.
We also know Gane can go the distance at the weight. We don’t know that about Jones. Work rate will be huge here, and is Jones able to keep moving and keep striking late in rounds?
This bout is fascinating. It is the legacy of Jones against a rival looking to create his own legacy with one win. Tickets won’t be cheap, but those at the T-Mobile Arena are in for an absolute treat.