LAS VEGAS – It’s time for the long-awaited return of Jon Jones.
After more than three years away from the Octagon, the former light heavyweight champion will come back Saturday and face Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title. The fight will headline UFC 285 at T-Mobile Arena.
On Friday, the all-time great weighed in at 248 pounds, a half-pound more than his opponent Gane (247.5). Jones relinquished the light heavyweight belt in August 2020 and began his preparation of putting on weight, which included a 5,000-calorie-per-day diet and powerlifting. Jones (26-1, 1 NC) owns the UFC records for longest unbeaten streak (18), victories in title fights (14) and title defenses (11, tied with Demetrious Johnson). The New York native, who lives and trains in Albuquerque, New Mexico, last fought in February 2020, a win over Dominick Reyes in defense of the 205-pound title. Jones, 35, was also the youngest fighter to win a UFC title in 2011 (23 years old). He’s already considered the greatest fighter of all time, but can eliminate any debate by winning a second division title in the UFC.
Gane (11-1) is coming off a third-round knockout of Tai Tuivasa in September. The France native has won eight of his nine UFC fights. Gane, 32, has just one career loss, a unanimous decision defeat against Francis Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight title in January 2022 at UFC 270.
The co-main event features a women’s flyweight title fight between champion Valentina Shevchenko and challenger Alexa Grasso. Shevchenko has won 9 consecutive bouts. Her last loss came at bantamweight in September 2017 to Amanda Nunes. Grasso has won each of her first four bouts at flyweight. Her last loss was in 2019 against Carla Esparza.
Follow all the action with Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim or watch the fights on ESPN+ PPV.