UFC 285 Jones vs. Gane Betting Tips: Back Bones for a triumphant return in Sin City
Jon Jones is scheduled to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 285 this weekend, hoping to become only the eighth multi-division champion in the promotion's history.
Bona fide star "Bones" will take on Ciryl Gane for the vacant Heavyweight title at the organisation's unofficial home: the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Our fight preview puts this card's main event under the microscope for a thorough examination. Read all about our analysis and consider the betting recommendations we've extracted from our findings...
Ignoring how fight fans were robbed of seeing one of MMA's most compelling fights by way of Francis Ngannou's unceremonious UFC exit, stone-faced killer Jones matching up against "Bon Gamin" (The Gentleman) still sells itself for a number of reasons.
It's been three years since Jones last stepped inside the cage. The inactivity, age and jump up in weight class provide a lot of unknown factors for the man widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.
Throw in a worthy adversary in the top-rated Heavyweight Ciryl Gane and we have an intriguing stylistic match up which presents some betting opportunity for fight-minded punters.
UFC 285 Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane Betting Tips
UFC 285: Jones vs Gane Odds
Interest in a Heavyweight battle for Jones summons from how he will fare when the physiological advantages afforded to him at LHW are removed. At 205lbs, Jones has previously had as much as a 12" reach advantage over his opponents. No matter how well-rounded of a fighter you might be, that transforms how any individual approaches an opponent.
Whether he's at home in this weight or not, Bones has undertaken the step up properly. His new walk-around weight is said to be in the region of around 255lbs - a seismic 33lbs increase on the 222lbs Light Heavyweight who roamed the streets only a couple of years ago. This steady gain could actually result in him weighing-in heavier than Gane on Saturday, for better or worse.
If you're making the case of this climb being too much of a stretch for Jones based on his last three uninspired performances, or you're in favour of the young, dynamic and hungry Bones making a triumphant return to dismantle Gane for the Heavyweight strap, it's impossible to predict his outcome without referring backing to some previous incarnation of him first.
The reality stands that the Heavyweight version of Jon Jones needs to find a resurgence of the creativity which crowned him as the youngest champ in UFC history and also led to him devouring his former division's entire roster with ease.
Taking the selection for this contest to go the distance seems like the smart play.
As we know, Jones likes to pick and choose what he takes into the cage to deconstruct his opponent with. Often it'll be fighting them at their own game - in this case, that means kickboxing Gane which presents the possibility of a more even fight.
Both fighter's styles are quite synonymous with one another: playing the long game by working the lower body and accumulating enough damage to make those later rounds a living hell for their opponents.
Jones' creative striking, namely those proficient close range elbows, is likely to keep Gane's mind occupied throughout the fight. However, Ciryl's speed and movement will nullify a lot of the physical superiority Jones previously held over his adversaries.
Diving into the stats shows that 33% of Gane's fights have gone the distance, while that number rises to 35.7% for Jones whose last three fights have all gone over to the judges' scorecards.
This contest is a marathon not a sprint. Both fighters will adopt a measured approach in their bids to wear one another down. Points could be a decisive factor in which of them carries gold from out of the Octagon.
Jones possesses a variety of ways to win. Having knocked out 10 previous opponents, submitted six foes and won by decision on a further 10 occasions, his repertoire stretches far and wide.
The New York native may feel like he has a point to prove, and Gane could be the perfect dance partner to reinvigorate his return. Bones apologised in the immediate aftermath of his last three outings, so putting on a show seems like it will be of great importance to him.
Jones has to disable the speed of Gane early on for which those signature oblique kicks are the perfect tool for the job. Neither is a renowned power puncher, so unless we see something drastically different from them on Saturday, we can expect the early exchanges to have a concerted pattern to them.
He and Bon Gamin will be quite comparable in the stand up ranges. Gane has impressive lower body attacks, strong inside defence and good cardio. Bon Gamin also does a good job of not leaving himself out there early on in fights. On this point, it's also worth mentioning that Jones has only scored four knockdowns in his UFC career.
So, even when you factor in the unknown entity of a Heavyweight Jon Jones, logic dictates he'll have to be patient for the victory.
Opposingly, it could also play out as a show of strength. If that is the case, Jones will fly out, body lock Gane and control the fight on the mat. Either way, expect fans to be able to enjoy a few rounds before any decisive action can declare a winner.
Francis Ngannou helped expose significant weaknesses in Gane's takedown defence. Whether he paid the Nigerian's wrestling enough respect remains unclear, but Jones knows this area can be exploited to great effect.
In Bones' streak of fighting notable wrestlers, including Ryan Bader, Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans, his back touched the canvas exactly zero times.
While many are labelling Jones' extended absence as the spanner in his works, it could well be his most useful asset. Bones has had a considerable amount of time to fantasise about how he would fight the likes of Gane, adding to his already innate ability to assemble an impeccable game plan. Whereas the Frenchman is merely acting on assumptions which could be quashed almost immediately after the first bell.
That's why we're locking in Jones to win by decision. In many ways, this is The Officer vs the Gentleman. Bones fights with a real meanness and stepping up to Heavyweight may only intensify his dominance.