UFC 285 is set to be staged on March 4 2023 with the Main Event promising to be one of the biggest fights of the year supported by a strong overall card.
The headline act will see Jon Jones return to the Octagon after a lengthy absence as the Rochester native takes on Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight championship.
Looking to UFC betting markets to make a prediction for Jones vs. Gane isn’t an easy one as both fighters will land in the ring with impressive credentials.
It's been three years since “Bones” has fought, during which time he’s been bulking up to transition to heavyweight. The two-time light heavyweight champion will face a true test of how successful that has been, up against Cyril “Bon Gamin” Gane, one of the most technically adept fighters on the UFC scene.
Odds To Win
Since former champion Francis Ngannou departed the promotion in January, UFC fans have known that Jones and Gane will be the springtime highlight fight.
Already considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, Jones has gone on record to say this fight will underline his position as UFC’s GOAT. Meanwhile, Gane reckons he’s more dangerous than ever having risen to the top of the UFC heavyweight rankings.
There’s little to separate Jones and Gane in the odds but “Bones” opened as a marginal favorite at around -120 while Gane initially offered more value at even money (+100).
The lines have shifted further in favor of Jones as the fight has neared with his legions of fans getting in on the action. Jones is now at odds of around -160 against +135 for Gane.
This means that if you backed Jones to win, the odds calculate a payout of $162.5 based on a $100 wager.
There’s plenty of uncertainty as to how each fighter will perform on the night. We haven’t seen Jones in the Octagon since February 2020.
That was when he beat Dominic Reyes to close out his mark 1 UFC professional career with a 26-1 record. Jones hasn’t been defeated since way back in 2009, resulting in a blemish-free run of 18 fights. He was stripped of his title in 2017 after testing positive for a banned substance though.
Gane has been in action more recently than his opponent. The Frenchman’s most recent fight ended with a knockout victory over Tai Tuivasa in September 2022.
That is a fight Gane now points to as a significant step forward in developing his all-round skills after a disappointing loss of the UFC heavyweight title to Francis Ngannou in January of the same year.
Jones has long been equipped with a wider range of MMA weaponry than almost any other fighter. A superb grappler with imperious wrestling skills, Jones is also a volume striker with a diverse range of attacking styles.
It could be that Gane will prove to be the more effective striker on the night though coming as he does from a Muay Thai background. Gane may also be in better shape than his opponent with Jones’ powers at this new weight class still unknown and with question marks following such a lengthy absence.
The verdict then on who will win between Jones and Gane? At the odds on offer, it’s too tempting not to back Gane. Jones should still possess lethal qualities but it might just be that his best years are slowly drifting behind him.
The odds on a Jones win opened at the highest in his career but have reduced in value since. This is also the first time in his professional path that Gane has been the underdog.
For fans of all things American who can’t see themselves not backing Jones, it’s worth noting his last three fights were settled with a decision. The odds of Jones winning by this method again stand a healthier number of +190.
Alternatively, many expect that this fight will run as both men initially cancel each other out and though both are excellent strikers, neither are power punchers.
A successful wager on the contest going over 4.5 rounds can be found at -140 with a very similar price for it to go the distance.
We also shouldn’t ignore the rest of the card for UFC 285 and consider a parlay. Taking the two underdogs at the top of the bill to combine a Gane win with a title snatch for Alexa Grasso (who may be seriously overpriced against Valentina Shevchenko) would result in huge odds of +1160 - tempting enough to warrant a small wager.
UFC 285 is slated to take place on Saturday, March 4. It is being held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The prelim action is scheduled to get underway at 19:00 ET, the main card at 22:00 ET and the Jones vs. Gane fight at 01:00 ET. All of the fights will be shown on ESPN+ PPV.
Jon Jones is the favorite in this fight against Cyril Gane. The odds on Jones of -120 convert to an implied probability of 54.5%
The undercard also features the fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso for the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship along with the following main card contests:
Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov
Mateusz Gamrot vs. Jalin Turner
Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett
The prelims are as follows:
Cody Garbrandt vs. Trevin Jones
Derek Brunson vs. Dricus Du Plessis
Viviane Araujo vs. Amanda Ribas
Julian Marquez vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
Sportsbooks will have betting markets available for Jones vs. Gane until the action gets underway and most of the best sportsbooks will have live betting options during the fight.
Bettors in New York can legally place online bets on the Jones vs. Gane fight at any of the state’s licensed sportsbooks. Alternatively, there are 11 retail sportsbooks across the state that take in-person bets.