Two UFC titles are on the line at UFC 285 on Saturday night as former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones makes his return to the cage as he attempts to capture the heavyweight crown. Plus, Valentina Shevchenko puts her flyweight title on the line as she looks for title defense number eight.
UFC 285 Results – Main Event
After three years away from the octagon, preparing for his debut in the heavyweight division, Jon Jones is back and he faces former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title. Starting back in 2014, Jones was only fighting once a year until 2017. That was the year people thought Jones was back for good as he defeated Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight title at UFC 214. Unfortunately, Jones failed a drug test after that fight, forcing the UFC to strip the belt from him and suspend him.
Jones made his return in 2018 when he faced Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title. Jones captured his belt back by finishing Gustafsson in the third round by knockout. Jones was back after that as he went on to defend his title three times after the win over Gustafsson. His next three title defenses were all very close fights but he was able to successfully get through all of his opponents. Jones’ first title defense was against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 that saw Jones winning by unanimous decision. In his next defense, Jones won a close split decision against Thiago Santos at UFC 239. Finally, Jones’ most recent outing and third title defense was a unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes. Now, after three years away, Jones looks to become the baddest man on the planet as the new UFC heavyweight champion.
To do that, he will have to get through French powerhouse, Ciryl Gane. Gane made his professional MMA debut in 2018 and after only three years in the sport, he had become the UFC’s interim heavyweight champion. His UFC debut happened a year after his pro debut, after just three fights. In his first two outings with the UFC, Gane had put together back-to-back submission wins over Raphael Pessoa and Don’Tale Mayes. His third UFC outing saw him go the distance for the first time in his career as he defeated Tanner Boser by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 165.
Gane’s biggest win in the UFC came after that one as he finished former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos by TKO in round two of their meeting at UFC 256. Now sitting at 7-0 with six finishes and four wins in the UFC, Gane earned his first UFC main events in his next two outings. He won both by unanimous decision, beating Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC Fight Night 186 and Alexander Volkov at UFC Vegas 30. In his tenth professional fight, Gane became the UFC’s interim heavyweight champion with a third round TKO win against Derrick Lewis at UFC 265. In the title unification bout with then-champion Francis Ngannou, Gane came up short, losing the fight by unanimous decision. It was Gane’s first professional loss. Gane was able to bounce back from the loss in another main event as he finished Tai Tuivasa by third round knockout during their wild fight at UFC Fight Night 209. Coming up short in his first title fight, Gane looks to capture the heavyweight crown and get through arguably one of the greatest fighters of all time.
UFC 285 Results – Co-Main Event
Before the UFC finds it’s new heavyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko looks for her eighth straight title defense as she puts her UFC flyweight title on the line against Alexa Grasso. Shevchenko won the UFC’s flyweight title back in 2018 and has been unstoppable ever since. In her first title defense, she knocked out Jessica Eye with a head kick in the second round of their meeting at UFC 238.
Title defense number two was a unanimous decision win over Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC Fight Night 156. Following that fight, Shevchenko picked up another finish in her next fight as she finished Katlyn Chookagian by TKO in round three at UFC 247. Later that year, Shevchenko picked up her fourth title defense with a unanimous decision win over Jennifer Maia at UFC 255. In 2021, Shevchenko picked up back-to-back TKO finishes for her fifth and sixth title defenses against Jessica Andrade and Lauren Murphy. Finally, Shevchenko’s last appearance was last summer at UFC 275 where she fought a very close fight with Taila Santos that saw Shevchenko win by split decision. After the first close fight of her title run, Shevchenko will look to get back to her dominant ways at UFC 285 against Alexa Grasso.
But Grasso will not be an easy opponent as she enters this fight on a four fight win streak. Making her UFC debut in 2016, Grasso has put together a record in the octagon of 7-3. Over her first six outings in the UFC, Grasso alternated wins and losses. She made her debut with an undefeated record of 8-0 and improved it to 9-0 with a unanimous decision win in her UFC debut against Heather Jo Clark. Grasso suffered her first loss in her next fight when Felice Herrig defeated her by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 104. Over the remainder of those first six fights, Grasso also picked up decision wins over Randa Markos and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
She also suffered a couple more losses including her first time being finished in a submission loss to Tatiana Suarez, plus a majority decision loss to Carla Esparza. Since the loss against Esparza, Grasso has been on a four-fight win streak. The first of those wins was a unanimous decision win over Kim Ji-Yeon at UFC Fight Night 175. That win was followed by another unanimous decision win, this time against Maycee Barber at UFC 258. Grasso picked up her first finish in the UFC following her win over Barber when she submitted Joanne Wood in the first round of their fight at UFC on ESPN 33. After that, Grasso fought in her first main event, which took place in her most recent fight, where she picked up another unanimous decision win by defeating Viviane Araujo at UFC Vegas 62. Grasso looks to join UFC men’s flyweight champion Brandon Moreno as the only Mexican-born UFC champions if she can get through Shevchenko.
UFC 285 – Main Card
Kicking things off on the pay-per-view will be a matchup in the middleweight division as Bo Nickal makes his UFC debut against Jamie Pickett. The NCAA gold medalist in wrestling makes his UFC debut after putting together a pro record of just 3-0. He had two successful showings on Dana White’s Contender Series to earn himself a contract as he put together back-to-back first round submission wins in those fights. Pickett, who is also a product of the Contender Series, has had a total of six fights in the UFC since earning his contract. Over that span, he has gone 2-4 in those six fights as he enters UFC 285 on a two fight losing streak as he was finished in his last two fights against Kyle Daukaus and Denis Tiuliulin.
Following that fight will be a lightweight bout between top ten contenders in Mateusz Gamrot and Jalin Turner. Gamrot is coming into this fight with just one loss in his last five outings. That loss occurred in his most recent fight as Beneil Dariush snapped Gamrot’s four fight win streak with a unanimous decision win at UFC 280. Prior to the loss, Gamrot had put together four straight wins over Scott Holtzman, Jeremy Stephens, Carlos Diego Ferreira and Arman Tsarukyan. As for Turner, he is entering the fight with five straight victories behind him. All five of those wins came by way of a finish as he picked up TKO wins over Joshua Culibao and Jamie Mullarkey, plus submission wins over Brok Weaver, Uros Medic and Brad Riddell.
Finally, before the title fights get underway, a welterweight contest goes down between Geoff Neal and Shavkat Rakhmonov. Neal missed weight for this contest, but the fight will go on with Neal forfeiting 30 percent of his purse. Neal is entering this fight with back-to-back wins behind him. The first of those wins snapped a two fight losing streak as he picked up a split decision win over Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 269. After that, in his most recent outing, Neal finished Vicente Luque by knockout in their fight at UFC Vegas 59. Rakhmonov enters this fight with an undefeated record of 16-0, 4-0 in the UFC. He made his debut in 2020 and has since put together three submission wins over Alex Oliveira, Michel Prazares and Neil Magny, plus a knockout win over Carlston Harris.
UFC 285 Results
MAIN CARD (PPV/ESPN+ – 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST)
Jon Jones def. Ciryl Gane via Submission (Guillotine) at 2:04 of Round One
Alexa Grasso def. Valentina Shevchenko via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:34 of Round Four
Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Geoff Neal* via Submission (Standing Rear Naked Choke) at 4:17 of Round Three
Mateusz Gamrot def. Jalin Turner via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Bo Nickal def. Jamie Pickett via Submission (Arm Triangle) at 2:54 of Round One
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+ – 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST)
Cody Garbrandt def. Trevin Jones via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Dricus du Plessis def. Derek Brunson via TKO (Corner Stoppage) at 4:59 of Round Two
Amanda Ribas def. Viviane Araujo via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Marc-Andre Barriault def. Julian Marquez via TKO (Punches) at 4:12 of Round Two
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+ – 5:30 p.m. EST/2:30 p.m. PST)
Ian Machado Garry def. Song Kenan via TKO (Punches) at 4:22 of Round Three
Cameron Saaiman def. Mana Martinez** via Majority Decision (29-26, 28-27, 28-28)
Tabatha Ricci def. Jessica Penne via Submission (Armbar) at 2:14 of Round Two
Farid Basharat def. Da’Mon Blackshear via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Loik Radzhabov def. Esteban Ribovics via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
*Neal missed weight at 175 pounds and will forfeit 30 percent of his purse
**Martinez missed weight at 137 pounds and will forfeit 30 percent of his purse
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