UFC 285 Betting Preview: Slaying Goats and Derailing Hype Trains

Jones’s Return Headlines Major Event Lined With All-Time Greats

UFC 285 Filled With Lopsided Matchups

The UFC’s all-time greatest fighter returns. Jon Jones attempts to become the latest two-division champion by capturing the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship. Despite the three-year layoff, the UFC betting odds favor him. Ciryl Gane, the former interim champion, could be the toughest test for the aging Jones. This is a colossal main event and one of the more evenly matched fights judging by the uneven matchups featuring other “GOATs” and would-be superstars judging by the UFC 285 betting preview.

Jones vs Gane

Date & Time: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Streaming: UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+, ESPN, Pay-per-view

Jones Favored Over Gane in Heavyweight Debut

You know Jones is the “GOAT” (greatest of all time) for a reason. It’s why the Jones vs Gane odds already peg him as a -170 betting favorite over Gane. Never mind that he hasn’t fought in over three years and that he’s moving up a weight division. It’s Jon Jones! Even when he was at his worst, Jones managed to pull out victories.

He avoided an upset against Alexander Gustafsson back in 2013. The partying-addicted Jones barely trained for Gustafsson and found a way to beat him. Then in his recent fights, he edged Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos. Most scored the bout for Reyes but Jones still found a way to win.

But is Jones still great enough to beat Gane? He’ll need to be as Gane has only lost to the former champion in Francis Ngannou and mostly due to some mistakes on his part. But if the Frenchman can rectify his grappling inexperience, he will be more than a match for Jones.

“I love this sport. Yes, it’s my job, but first I’m a competitor, When I lost my fight against Francis [Ngannou], I was really not happy. So yes, I’m gonna test myself with the GOAT, and this is a pleasure for me,” Gane told TMZ Sports. “When you have a fight and you don’t have any challenge, that’s not exciting. Today I have a big challenge so I’m really excited about that.”

This is the first time Gane enters as an underdog (+140). Jones is, of course, unbeaten (other than the contentious disqualification against Matt Hamill) so he’s constantly delivered as a favorite. The key for the Jackson Wink MMA fighter is to find a way to exploit Gane’s wrestling inexperience. That’s likely the focus of almost every UFC 285 betting preview.

Shevchenko Leads Quintet of Massive Favorites

Jones is the favorite but he’s a discounted one if you consider the other “big names” on the card. Let’s start with the co-main event as Valentina Shevchenko looks to defend her UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship for the eighth time. The flyweight GOAT is -700 to turn back Alexa Grasso (+450) in a fight where she’s expected to finish her – the total is set at 4.5 rounds with the ‘under’ juiced at -150.

While -700 is a hefty price, it’s just a fraction of what wrestling prodigy Bo Nickal’s line is demanding. The UFC newcomer is a whopping -1800 to win against Jamie Pickett (+800). He may be the biggest favorite for a fighter making his UFC debut. Ever. You can’t knock his blue-blood wrestling credentials. But anything short of a first-round finish, as the under 1.5 rounds at -270 indicates, would be a disappointment.

A duo of prospects on the verge of becoming contenders also participate in this card. Ian Machado Garry is given a -700 line to dust Kenan Song (+450). Garry, the unbeaten Irishman is 3-0 in the UFC and will headline the early preliminary card. Song got TKO’d in his last UFC fight nearly two years ago and is 4-2 in the promotion.

Prior to Garry’s bout is one-half of the notorious Basharat brothers. Farid is lined at -470 to get pat Da’Mon Blackshear (+345). The Afghani fighter is making his UFC debut after impressing in his Contender Series fight.

And last but not least is a prospect-turned-contender in Shavkat Rakhmonov. At -500, he’s heavily expected to get past Geoff Neal (+350) even if Neal is the higher-ranked fighter. Rakhmonov is 16-0 and all of his UFC wins are via finish. Neal may give him a challenge though he reportedly suffered an injury and had to withdraw. Thus, this bout originally scheduled for January had to be pushed to this date. That may also be why Rakhmonov joins this chalk-laden UFC 285 betting preview as one of the favorites. Come back right here for a preview of every UFC fight and where UFC fighters are ranked.

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