Jon Jones Beats Ciryl Gane in UFC 285

By Liam Grabie – Correspondent

Saturday, March 4th, 2023. Potentially the largest UFC pay-per-view event of the past two years. Jon Jones made his return to the octagon after a three-year hiatus from the sport. Jones, who previously reigned as the light heavyweight (205 pounds) champion of the world is widely viewed as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. With a record of 26 wins and one disqualification loss, Jone’s reign in the UFC has been nothing short of dominant. 

However, this time around Jones moved up a weight class and fought in the UFC heavyweight division (265 pounds). The move from light heavyweight to heavyweight is a big change as Jone’s opponents were 60 pounds heavier. In addition to the large change in weight, Jones faced arguably the most technical striker in heavyweight history, Ciryl Gane. Gane, a Frenchman and former UFC interim heavyweight champion of the world, is far from an easy opponent. Gane has steamrolled through the UFC Heavyweight division with a record of 11-1. His only loss came at the hands of former Heavyweight champion Francis Nganu in January of 2022.

 Following his loss to the former champion, Gane rallied back and knocked out the third-ranked contender in the heavyweight division, Tai Tuivasa. This performance from Gane was such a dominant showing that UFC president, Dana White guaranteed Gane an immediate title fight for the undisputed UFC heavyweight title. 

Despite Jon Jones being regarded as the MMA goat, he was the underdog in his championship matchup with Cyril Gane. However, the MMA community at large believed this was Ludacris and expected Jon Jones to dominate Gane by taking him down with his elite wrestling and submitting him with his large arsenal of chokes. Robert Whittaker, former interim UFC Middleweight champion, told Fox Sports Australia he expects Jones to win. “Jon Jones is going to take (Gane) down and lay on him and just finish him there,” said Whittaker.

“Jones’ wrestling is next-caliber. Nobody comes close to what Jon Jones can produce in the octagon, and this is my opinion. If you look at his statistics, he can take people down with ease. He can grapple them with ease. He can strike with the best of them. He’s got cardio and strength and power and height and physique. He has it all. And Jones probably has the highest IQ in the game. He can see weakness and he’ll exploit it,” added Whittaker. While Gane is an incredible kickboxer with striking skills never seen before in the heavyweight division, he lacks wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills. 

Duncan McLean, a senior at Sharon High School and MMA fanatic agrees with Robert Whittaker. “Gane was taken down and held there by Francis Nganu, a mediocre wrestler at best with only six years of wrestling experience. If Francis Nganu can take down Gane think about what Jon Jones, an all-time great wrestler in MMA will do. If Jones avoids getting knocked out he wins that fight,” said McLean. 

Senior Tess Letendre says that the fight will be a good one but she does think Jon Jones will win in the end. “I believe Jon Jones will win but the fight is going to be interesting and anything can happen,” said Tess. “Here at the Talon, we believe Jon Jones will defeat Cyril Gane in round 2 by submission due to a rear naked choke. Perhaps Gane will catch Jones on the feet and knock him out which is always a great possibility in the heavyweight division. However, the gap in wrestling between the two contenders is what we see as the difference. Jones will dominate Gane if the fight goes to the clinch or the ground. Whether you believe Jones will join the short list of two division UFC champions or believe Gane will claim the vacant title, it is sure to be a historic match for the ages.”

UFC 285 took place and left no doubt about who the greatest fighter of all time is. Jon “Bones” Jones submitted Cyril Gane within three minutes of the first round by a guillotine choke. This performance was a reality check for anyone doubting the greatness of Jon Jones. He truly is the greatest fighter in the world and showed why with his dominant performance over a great contender in Cyril Gane. Jones is set for his first heavyweight title defense against former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in July. Despite Stipe being regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all time it seems near impossible for anyone to beat the undisputed MMA GOAT Jon “Bones” Jones.

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