2023 is already shaping up to be an unmissable year that will be packed to the brim with UFC talent namely featuring a trilogy showdown in London between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards for the Welterweight title, the return of Conor McGregor to the Ultimate Fighter series and above all else ‘Bones’ Jones will also make a triumphant return to the Octagon at UFC 285.
If there is ever a time to tune into any upcoming UFC card, then March 5th, 2023, is the preferable date as it marks the major return of the legendary Jon ‘Bones’ Jones at UFC 285 in front of what should be a raucous Las Vegas crowd at the T-Mobile Arena.
This event will also provide fans with a plethora of top-level UFC action features a co-main matchup between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso for the Women’s Flyweight championship and fan favorites Derek Brunson, Cody Garbrandt, and Geoff Neal also making a resounding appearance.
However, the big selling point for any sports fan to tune into the pay-per-view’s broadcasting comes in the form of the highly anticipated main event, which will pit the red-hot Ciryl Gane against the aforementioned Jones who will be making his debut at Heavyweight after well over a decade of dominance over the Light Heavyweight division.
While Jones has had his fair share of issues both inside and outside the cage walls, there is no denying his legacy as one of the greatest to ever compete in the sport of MMA, with some of the early UFC online betting odds already proclaiming Jones as the favorite to win his first bout back in the Octagon after a three-year absence.
A look back on Jones’ career:
The accolades surrounding Jones’ tenure in the UFC and MMA landscape merely speak for themselves as the 35-year-old New York native has claimed an abundance of the promotion’s top records, which includes several notable title stints.
Some of his most credible records include his impeccable T/KO victory over Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 that officially started his legendary 1,501 day title reign over the Light Heavyweight division which earned him many credentials including the World MMA Fighter of the Year in consecutive years as well as becoming the youngest champion in UFC history.
Jones’ first official championship reign saw Bones showcase his knack for building rivalries whilst on the microphone as well as his incredible abilities when squaring up in the Octagon, with his tremendous showdown against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 still remaining as an all-time classic that has rightly earned a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame Fight Wing.
Jones would continue his onslaught with fellow decisive victories over MMA legends Quinton Jackson, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen and Glover Teixeria, before entering a heated rivalry with Daniel Cormier which may well go down as arguably the UFC’s most volatile matchups between two fighters.
After initially defeating Cormier during their first encounter at UFC 182, Jones would then go onto defeat Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 before being stripped of the title after testing positive during a drugs test.
However, Jones would eventually return to the Octagon at UFC 232 in a rematch against Alexander Gustafsson where he won back the vacant Light Heavyweight title, from which he would earn another string of victories against Antony Smith, Thiago Santos and finally Dominick Reyes before once again vacating the title in August of 2020 to move up a division to heavyweight.
After years of speculation, Jones will finally return to the Octagon, at heavyweight, in a matchup against a more than worthy opponent in Ciryl Gane who could prove to be a major challenge for Bones given his recent string of results.
Analyzing his opponent for UFC 285:
Anyone who has been keeping tabs on the UFC’s stacked heavyweight division will be well aware of the impact the French kickboxer has brought to the promotion since his initial debut in 2018.
Gane has quickly risen up the UFC’s heavyweight and pound-for-pound rankings, which has included several impressive encounters against the likes of Junior Dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Alexander Volkov and Derrick Lewis before his UFC 270 showdown against the recently departed heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, which he lost via unanimous decision.
Following his title defeat to Ngannou, Gane returned with a tremendous bout against Tai Tuivasa in front of a raucous Paris crowd, earning him the chance to face off against Jones in the main event of UFC 285, which will ultimately decide who gets the opportunity to claim the vacant heavyweight title.
Gane has already proven to be one of the best strikers at heavyweight and will be sure to match Jones’ lethal striking power as well as improving his defense and endurance to absorb some significant strikes which is sure to make this one of the top bouts to watch this year given the ambitious return of Jones and a more than worthy adversary who is certainly capable of staging an upset.