UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane Picks, Predictions, Odds
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It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for! Whether you are a hardcore MMA freak or just a casual fan, you have been waiting for UFC 285 the return of Jon ‘Bones’ Jones as he squares off against Ciryl Gane for the UFC Heavyweight Championship on March 4, 2023 from Las Vegas, Nevada.
We also have a title fight in the Women’ Flyweight between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso, along with 10 more interesting fights. Big names liked Geoff Neal, Shavkat Rakhmonov, Cody Garbrandt. Plus, Derek Brunson and Dricus du Plessis will be in action along with many more.
However, we are all more interested in the betting side of the event, so let’s not waste any more time and dig right into my Best Bets for UFC 285.
Let's get it on!
UFC 285 Best Bets
- Cyril Gane to Win (+140)
- Jon Jones to Win by Decision/T-Decision (+200)
- Shevchenko to Win by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission (-139)
- Mateusz Gamrot to Win by Decision/Technical Decision (+275)
- Dricus du Plessis By KO/TKO/DQ or Submission (+132)
- Amanda Ribas to Win (-111)
Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change
UFC 285 Picks & Predictions
The UFC 285 main card is expected to start at 10:00 p.m. ET.
UFC 285 Jones vs Gane Picks
I don’t know about you, but I still can’t believe this fight is actually happening. It’s been a long time, a lot of postponements, promises and hype, but Jon Jones is finally back in the octagon! After more than 3 years away from the cage, Jon Jones has finally levelled up to Heavyweight and is ready to fight for the title. That’s right, no bounce-back fight, no test to see how he looks, just a straight-up title fight for the former Light-Heavyweight champ.
The bookmakers have him as the favourite at -161 odds to take the title, whilst Gane is available at +140. Now, wait just a moment. I am fully aware of the greatness that is Jon Jones here, the fight IQ, the grappling, the reach, the movement. But how confident are we that a 35-year old Jones can just gain the weight, keep the speed and cardio and move up to heavyweight and have no rust whatsoever after 3 years? I’m not. First of all, I don’t think his frame is made for heavyweight and I don’t think he has gained enough muscle mass to compete against the best in the division. He even said himself that he isn’t even cutting weight for the event. He does have a reach advantage and grappling skills advantage, but there are some things we can’t overlook.
Cyril Gane is a naturally-built heavyweight, who has been in this division from day 1. Also, he is so skilled, quick, light on his feet and creative for this division that it doesn’t even seem like he belongs there. Cyril Gane is also significantly bigger and stronger than any opponent Jones has fought over the years. His body and leg kicks are going to be a problem and his sheer weight will make it very difficult for Jones to take him down. Francis was able to do so, but now we can expect Gane to actually be prepared. We can expect Jones to attempt a lot of takedowns here, and if Ciryl can stuff a few of them early on, I’m not sure Jones has the cardio to keep going for all 5 rounds.
However. Jon Jones is arguably one of the most gifted fighters to ever step into the octagon, and counting him out would be a rookie mistake for any punter. If he has success getting Ciryl down to the mat and keeping him down, this can take a turn for the worst. I don’t see him finishing Ciryl on the ground, as he is very durable and good at scrambling, but I can see Jones getting some control time and doing some damage.
The UFC wants Jon Jones to become the Heavyweight champ, so don’t be surprised if the refs use their… discretion to make that happen if the fight goes the distance. This is why we are backing both fighters to win. I’m fine with backing Gane in the moneyline market at these odds, but the only way I see Jones winning this one is via decision. Therefore…
Best Bet: Cyril Gane to Win (+140)
Best Bet: Jon Jones to Win by Decision/T-Decision (+200)
UFC 285 Shevchenko vs Grasso Picks
It feels like the women’s Flyweight title fight has fallen into the shadow of the main event, and for good reason. I would love to tell you how the underdog is carrying some nice value and that backing her is a really good idea, kind of like that first Nunes vs Penna fight. I’m sorry but it’s not, the bookies are correct.
Is Valentina unstoppable? No, we’ve seen that in her most recent fight, where she got a split decision win against Taila Santos and quite frankly, didn’t look nearly as good as she usually does. In fact, I can see us fading ‘The Bullet’ in the near future if this continues. However, Alexa Grasso isn’t that underdog that can get the job done and I see no value in backing her.
Alexa Grasso is a very sharp boxer who can mix in some kicks here and there, but the majority of her strikes are to the head. A purple belt in Jiu Jitsu, but her offensive grappling hasn’t been impressive so far, landing just 0.44 takedowns per 15 and earning just 1 career submission victory. Let’s face it, boxing is the only department Grasso can use to her advantage in this one and it won’t be enough.
Shevchenko has been the champ for the past 5 years because she is very well-rounded. Her striking has always been her biggest strength, and despite slowing down a bit lately, she still has a huge arsenal and can win the fight in multiple ways. Valentina’s kicks are very dangerous, as she invests both in the legs and the body. She also lands 2.53 takedowns per 15 and despite not looking her best in the Santos fight, her grappling is still much better than Grasso’s.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much betting value in this one. You can back Grasso to survive (fight to go the distance) until the final bell at +125, but in a 5-rounder I think Shevchenko will have enough time to get the job done early.
Best Bet: Shevchenko to Win by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission (-139)
UFC 285 Gamrot vs Turner Picks
For our third best bet of the night, we have the Lightweight bout between Mateusz Gamrot and Jalin Turner - the 7th vs the 10th-ranked fighter in the division.
The 32-year-old Gamrot was working his way toward a title shot but was stopped this October by Beneil Dariush at UFC 280 via unanimous decision. A black belt in BJJ, Gamrot bases his fighting style on his grappling skills and it shows. He dishes out just 3.26 strikes per minute and usually struggles when he can’t get takedowns, just like in that Dariush fight where he went 4/19.
For Jalin Turner, the last 2 years have been fruitful. He is on a 5-fight winning streak and coming off a submission win over Brad Riddell. But he has mostly been fighting strikers during this time and has been preparing to face Dan Hooker this Saturday, who pulled out due to a broken hand. Turner’s career takedown defence is at an impressive 77%, but will he be able to stuff them against Gamrot - a fighter who averages 4.66 per 15 minutes? Turner is a very dangerous fighter on the feet, and Gamrot will have to have a flawless game plan if he wants to win this one.
I wouldn’t blame you if you chose the explosive Turner for this one, especially at +180 odds, but I just see a much clearer path to victory for Gamrot in this one. If he can tire out Turner in the first round and force him to defend takedowns and scramble on the ground, a lot of his explosiveness will fade. It’s not going to be pretty, but I’m backing Gmarot to get a dragged-out decision win.
Best Bet: Mateusz Gamrot to Win by Decision/Technical Decision (+275)
UFC 285 Brunson vs Du Plessis Picks
The final fight of Derek Brunson’s contract will have him facing the 10th-ranked fighter in the Middleweight division Dricus du Plessis. Brunson announced that he would retire after this one, and at the age of 39, it might be time. He has won 4 of his last 5 fights but is coming off a KO loss to Jared Cannonier a year ago.
Brunson is known in the division as a solid fighter with exceptional grappling. A former D-II wrestler with a black belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie, Brunson’s as real as you get. He averages 3.23 takedowns per 15, and is very difficult to take down, with a takedown defence of 89%. That said, his striking hasn’t exactly been up to par, dishing out 3.50 strikes per minute and absorbing 2.84.
For du Plessis, it’s been a perfect 4-0 start in the UFC since late 2022 and he now has a chance to enter the top 10 of the rankings. He is coming off an impressive submission win over Darren Till. In fact, 3 of his 4 wins in the UFC have come via finish.
Du Plessis is a lethal striker who lands 6.62 strikes per minute, and his grappling has been quite good too. He landed 6/6 takedowns in his bout against Till and he holds 10 career submission victories. He is just 29 years old and this is why I give him an edge in this one.
We all know that Derek is going to attempt a thousand takedowns in the first round, but if du Plessis can stuff them early on - Derek is getting gassed and KOed again. At 39 years of age, it’s hard to imagine Derek having enough in the tank to handle a fighter like du Plessis, and given this is his last fight, I don’t expect him to be at 100%.
Best Bet: Dricus du Plessis By KO/TKO/DQ or Submission (+132)
UFC 285 Araujo vs Ribas Picks
I’m going with Amanda Ribas to take this one, guys. At -111 odds, Ribas has a lot of value here. She has lost 2 of her last 3 fights, but it’s not as bad as it seems. It’s not like she was out cold in that TKO loss to Marina Rodriguez. She was hurt, though and that last performance against Kaitlyn Chookagian was impressive. It was a razor-close loss to the queen of decisions and I expect her to bounce back here.
Viviane Araujo has also lost 2 of her last 3 and her performance against Chookagian wasn’t nearly as good, getting schooled by 89-127 in significant strikes. She is coming off a unanimous decision against Alexa Grasso where her offensive grappling was rendered useless, going just 2/10 on takedowns. The thing with Araujo is, she leaves herself open far too much. She lands slightly more than Ribas on the feet, but absorbs 2.76 strikes per minute more!
The 36-year old Araujo is already a complete fighter and this is her ceiling at this point. The 29-year old Ribas has seen some setbacks recently, but she is the better fighter and I can see her getting the job done. Her offensive grappling is better and she attempts submissions more often. It’s going to be a close one, but at these odds, Ribas is by far the better value pick for us.
Best Bet: Amanda Ribas to Win (-111)
UFC 285 Bets, Picks & Predictions
UFC 285 Betting Odds
UFC 285 Main Card Odds
Jon Jones -170 vs. Ciryl Gane +138
Valentina Shevchenko -750 vs. Alexa Grasso +490
Geoff Neal +370 vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov -520
Mateusz Gamrot -215 vs. Jalin Turner +172
Bo Nickal -2200 vs. Jamie Pickett +980
UFC 285 Preliminary Card Odds
Cody Garbrandt -178 vs. Trevin Jones +144
Derek Brunson +190 vs. Dricus Du Plessis -250
Viviane Araujo -102 vs. Amanda Ribas -120
Julian Marquez +124 vs. Marc-Andre Barriault -152
UFC 285 Early Preliminary Card Odds
Ian Garry -850 vs. Song Kenan +540
Cameron Saaiman -290 vs. Leomana Martinez +225
Jessica Penne +250 vs. Tabatha Ricci -340
Da'Mon Blackshear +340 vs. Farid Basharat -500
Loik Radzhabov +215 vs. Esteban Ribovics -290
Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change
UFC 285 Betting Resources
UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane Odds
Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023
Network-Time: ESPN+, ESPN, PPV, 6:00 p.m. ET
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
UFC 285 Betting Trends
As of Friday morning, BetMGM is providing bettors with the opening and current odds, plus the betting and handle percentages for the UFC 285 main card bouts.