This weekend’s UFC event is set to be an exciting one as Jon Jones makes his much-anticipated return to the octagon to face Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight title. The bout comes after Francis Ngannou vacated the belt, leaving it up for grabs. Let’s take a closer look at what we can expect from this card and the other key matchups.
Jon Jones’ Return to the Octagon
Jon Jones, the former UFC light-heavyweight champion, has not competed in the UFC for three years. He last stepped into the octagon in February 2020, where he defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. Since then, he took a break from the sport, citing a lack of motivation when facing “lesser opposition.” But now, he’s back, and he’s going up against a formidable opponent in
Ciryl Gane’s Quest for the Heavyweight Title
Gane, the Frenchman, will be looking to win the heavyweight title for the first time in his career. He suffered his first professional defeat when he fought Francis Ngannou in his only crack at the undisputed UFC title. In his last, he defeated Tai Tuivasa in Paris via a third-round KO. But now, he’s facing a much tougher opponent in Jon Jones.
When and Where to Watch UFC 285
UFC 285 will take place on Saturday, with the early prelims starting at 2:30 PM PST on UFC’s streaming service. The prelims will take place at 5:00 PM PST n ESPN or ESPN+, followed by the main card at 7:00 PM PST. The main event between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane is set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada and will not get underway in the US until around 9.30 PM PST.
When and Where to Watch UFC 285
UFC 285 will take place on Saturday, with the early prelims starting at 11 pm in the UK. The prelims will take place at 1 am on Sunday, followed by the main card at 3 am. The main event between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane is set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada and will not get underway in the UK until around 5.30 am on Sunday morning.
To watch the fight live in the UK, tune in to BT Sport 1 or use the broadcaster’s app. Coverage for this weekend’s PPV showdown will start at 1 am on Sunday. You can also keep up-to-date with the event live through calfkicker.
Other Key Matchups on the Card
In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko will defend her flyweight title for the eighth time when she faces the number six ranked contender, Alexa Grasso.
Why Did Francis Ngannou Vacate the Title?
After successfully defending the heavyweight title in his last back in January 2022, Francis Ngannou was involved in a back-and-forth negotiations with the UFC due to contract issues.
He was unhappy with his pay and threatened to leave the promotion to pursue more options for a better payday, including a boxing showdown with Tyson Fury.
After failing to reach an agreement with the promotion, Ngannou became a free agent and UFC declared they wouldn’t be matching any offer he gets.
He later admitted that his disagreement with the UFC was not entirely down to money.
Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane – Vacant heavyweight title
Valentina Shevchenko vs Alexa Grasso – Women’s flyweight title
Geoff Neal vs Shavkat Rakhmonov
Mateusz Gamrot vs Jalin Turner
Bo Nickal vs Jamie Pickett
Cody Garbrandt vs Trevin Jones
Derek Brunson vs Dricus Du Plessis
Viviane Araujo vs Amanda Ribas
Julian Marquez vs Marc-Andre Barriault
Early Preliminary Card
Ian Machado Garry vs Song Kenan
Mana Martinez vs Cameron Saaiman
Jessica Penne vs Tabatha Ricci
Da’Mon Blackshear vs Farid Basharat
Esteban Ribovics vs Loik Radzhabov