UFC 285 Betting Odds and Preview: Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane

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UFC John Jones

The UFC is set for what could be one of its biggest fights of the year at UFC 285 on Saturday, as former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones moves up a weight class to face Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

In the night’s co-main event, longtime women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko goes for her eighth consecutive title defense against challenger Alexa Grasso.

Read on for a betting preview of the fight card, plus a look at the UFC 285 odds from multiple legal US sportsbooks.

UFC 285 main event odds

Jon Jones () vs. Ciryl Gane ()

For the first time since 2009, Jones opened as an underdog in a UFC fight. That was short-lived, however, as the odds soon flipped to make him a favorite. Still, it’s the closest line on a Jones fight since his early days in the UFC.

The reasons for that boil down to the uncertainty surrounding two key variables in this fight, the first of which is time. Jones hasn’t fought in a little more than three years, when he last defended his 205-pound belt with a lackluster decision win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. That’s a long time to be out of action in MMA. Jones was 32 when he stepped away to plot this move up to heavyweight. He’s 35 now, and oddsmakers may be wondering if his prime expired while he was on the shelf.

That brings us to the second variable: weight. Jones has never competed at heavyweight in the UFC. He seems to have gradually added bulk to his tall, rangy frame, but we don’t know yet if he’ll still be as agile or as quick with those extra pounds. We’ve also never seen him take a punch from a legit heavyweight knockout artist.

For his part, Gane is a technically sound kickboxer who fights well when he can control the range and the pace. He’s smart, doesn’t take too many risks, and while he’s not the hardest hitter in the division, he’s still a threat to knock anyone out once he starts putting strikes together.

The big question for Gane is his wrestling. He lost his shot at the undisputed UFC heavyweight title when Francis Ngannou, who is not known for his takedowns, wrestled his way to a decision win over Gane on one fully functioning leg. Jones is a much better wrestler than Gane, and if Gane hasn’t closed that gap in his armor in the year since the Ngannou fight, Jones might be able to exploit it. Then again, Jones hasn’t always looked so dominant when he doesn’t enjoy a massive size advantage, and Gane is a natural heavyweight who didn’t have to put on pounds for this fight.

UFC 285 co-main event odds

Valentina Shevchenko () vs. Alexa Grasso ()

Up until her last title defense in June, Shevchenko looked so far ahead of the flyweight field that there seemed to be almost no hope of anyone catching her.

But she had a close fight against Taila Santos and was somewhat lucky to escape with the 125-pound belt still around her waist. Now the rest of the division is waiting to see if it was just a bad night or the beginning of a downward slide. Grasso is coming into the first title fight of her career riding a four-fight winning streak.

UFC 285 props and round betting

Typically, heavyweight title fights have a lower chance than those in other divisions of going all five rounds and seeing the judges’ scorecards in the end. But Jones and Gane have both been the distance a few times, which explains why the odds on either of them to win by decision are lower than any other method of victory.

Still, a TKO/KO win for either is not out of the question. Jones’ best path to that ending is probably takedowns followed by elbows on the ground, which used to be his specialty. And if Gane is able to stand and fire at range, Jones could also go to sleep for the first time in his career.

Full UFC 285 odds and fight card

Main Card

Jon Jones () vs. Ciryl Gane ()
Valentina Shevchenko () vs. Alexa Grasso ()
Geoff Neal () vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov ()
Mateusz Gamrot () vs. Jalin Turner ()
Bo Nickal () vs. Jamie Pickett ()


Cody Garbrandt () vs. Trevin Jones ()
Derek Brunson () vs. Dricus du Plessis ()
Viviane Araujo () vs. Amanda Ribas ()
Julian Marquez () vs. Marc-Andre Barriault ()

Early prelims

Ian Garry () vs. Song Kenan ()
Cameron Saaiman () vs. Leomana Martinez ()
Jessica Penne () vs. Tabatha Ricci ()
Da’Mon Blackshear () vs. Farid Basharat ()
Esteban Ribovics () vs. Loik Radzhabov ()

How to watch UFC 285