At UFC 285 Jon Jones is ready for his heavyweight debut versus Ciryl Gane.
Finally making his long away to return to the octagon, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is set to make his debut in the heavyweight division at UFC 285 against former interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane. He said to do battle in Las Vegas at UFC 285, the battle between Jones and Gane will determine who the new UFC heavyweight champion will be.
Every so often in mixed martial arts there is a bout that determines the legacy of a fighter. These matchups often tell us a great deal about a competitor, and what kind of legacy they wish to leave behind when their career comes to an end. The Hurt Business is as much about big money as it is about cementing your name in combat sports history.
In this matchup between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will answer a truckload of questions. For Jones the question is whether he can do what so many before him have been an able to accomplish. To go up a division and become the very best in the world. For many this fight also will answer if Jones is the de facto greatest of all time. For Gane this match can answer the question of whether or not his loss to Francis Ngannou was simply a case of poor game planning, or if he really does have the stuff of champions.
Both Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane have a massive opportunity to cement themselves in the history books. Will Jones’ gamble to move up to heavyweight be a success or will it blow up in his face? Will Gane be the first man to hand Jones his first actual defeat? Let’s see what both men should do to secure victory at UFC 285.
Making his long awaited return to the octagon after three years on the sidelines, Jon Jones is ready to make his heavyweight debut at UFC 285. He has packed on a considerable amount of strength and size, preparing for his move to the heavier division. This being his first match in the division, many variables remain unanswered. Does he have the durability to take a heavyweight punch? Will his strength move up well from light heavyweight? How does a heavyweight Jones perform in general? According to Jones he’s feeling more than ready to answer all those questions definitively.
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Jon Jones’ key to victory is managing the distance while he closes the gap. Ciryl Gane has incredible footwork and striking acumen. As such the French kickboxer rule, proved to be a tricky test on the feet. With that in mind, Jones should look to chop away at Gane’s legs in the opening stanzas of the fight. While he was never known for his knockout power, destroying his opponents legs, will give him more opportunities to learn big punches. No doubt Jones will rely on his lead leg sidekicks to the knees or the rear stump kick that he likes to employ as well. Even coming up from light heavyweight Jones is the longer fighter. Using his natural gifts, will give him an advantage in this fight, but only if he’s able to slow down Gane’s movement.
Luckily for Jon Jones he has a pretty expensive tool kit with many different techniques at his disposal. Once he’s able to slow down Ciryl Gane with leg and body strikes, Jones should opt to engage in the clinch where his elbows and wrestling abilities should do major damage. Operating inside the Clinch could prove to tire out Gane, though it can’t be ruled out that it won’t also fatigue Jones. Nevertheless, it’s the path of least resistance, and will give Jones more opportunities to get the fight down to the ground, where he will surely dominate.
Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane has tried and failed to capture the undisputed title against Francis Ngannou back in January of 2022. In the contest against the feared knockout artist, Gane would find himself out wrestled and would drop a unanimous decision. He would bounce back nicely against fellow striker Tai Tuivasa in September. Now he faces a whole different challenge in battling Jon Jones at UFC 285.
Just like Jon Jones, the key to victory for Ciryl Gane is controlling the range. Being Fleet of foot and having a striking background, Gane should be aiming to play on the outside, while utilizing his jab. He can’t allow himself to get into clinch and wrestling exchanges with Jones. Doing so will undoubtedly end with gone, receiving some punishing ground and pound strikes. He’s kicking game should likely be reserved for calf kicks against Jones and to disrupt his base. A jab to the head and a cross down to the body will also be an effective tool for Gane. We have never seen Jones contend at this weight and testing his gas tank will be paramount.
Ciryl Gane can’t hope to win the fight simply by moving on the outside, however. She will need to play the aggressive, counterstrike or from time to time in this match. Closing the gap with his job finishing strikes to the body or the legs should be done so with countering in mind. He should aim to chip away at Jones little by little, force his opponent to make big movements, then counter punch when in range. Chopping away at Jones legs could prove to be dangerous as the wrestler could use it for take down opportunity. That’s why all of Gane’s kicks should be aimed at the calf and the ankles. It’s low committal, and gives Jones less opportunity to convert Gane’s kicks into advantageous takedowns.
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Who do you think wins at UFC 285, Jon Jones or Ciryl Gane?
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News and Editorial Writer at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.