During his time outside of mixed martial arts, Jon Jones says he lived a low-key existence focused on family and self-improvement. The former light heavyweight champion returns to the cage for the first time in three years on Saturday when he takes on senior contender Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title. Their five-round bout made headlines on the main fight card of UFC 285 (10:00 p.m. ET) from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Jones retired from the sport following his February 2020 light heavyweight title defense against Dominick Reyes, which he won by close decision. He deliberately kept a low profile during his absence from the sport but told the media this week he feels fresh mentally and physically and is ready to build on his legacy by winning another title.
Jones is a -170 favorite (risking $170 to win $100), while Gane comes back at +145 in the latest UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, World Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko (-600) makes her eighth title defense when she meets Alexa Grasso (+450). Before committing to UFC 285, be sure to read SportsLine analyst Daniel Vithlani’s MMA predictions and betting tips.
Vithlani is an extremely analytical UFC bettor who has won more than $6,200 for $100 bettors in 2022. That includes a documented 24-14 record in his highly regarded two-legged parlays. Each pick was documented on his public Instagram account.
From breaking down movies and accurately tracking fighters and their camps to tracking hot action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the breadth of the MMA betting landscape from top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and regularly speaks to MMA fighters to understand the nuances of the sport.
In his SportsLine debut at UFC 283 in January, Vithlani swept the main card and his 5-0 mark included him advising SportsLine members to match Jamahal Hill (-125) against Glover Teixeira (+105) for the vacant light heavyweight title in the support main event . Everyone who has followed it has seen massive returns.
Now that UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane is on sight, Vithlani has ranked the fight map from top to bottom and posted his best MMA picks. You can only see who you need to support on SportsLine.
UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane Preview
Jones, who has had some troubles outside of the cage, has long been one of the sport’s most divisive figures. But almost every analyst and avid MMA watcher agrees that he should be shortlisted as one of the greatest of all time, and he holds the top spot for the majority of MMA historians. Others in the conversation include former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired in 2020 with an undefeated record.
Jones (26-1-1) suffered his only professional loss by disqualification, although close decisions against Reyes and Thiago Santos in his last two appearances have suggested by some observers that he had either lost his lead or the competition had evolved, or a combination of these.
The 35-year-old New York native announced that he was leaving the light heavyweight division to focus on moving to heavyweight with a goal of becoming a two-division champion. He reportedly coveted a fight with former champion Francis Ngannou, but negotiations fell through because the fighters couldn’t agree on the timing and both were unhappy with the UFC’s price offers. Ngannou has since left the UFC and is now a free agent.
In his last UFC appearance, Ngannou overcame an early two-round deficit and used his wrestling to earn a decision win over Gane (11-1), giving the French fighter his first professional loss. Gane responded with a third-round knockout against Tai Tuivasa in September last year.
Coincidentally, Gane was often compared to Jones for his athleticism, versatility and mastery of multiple disciplines. When Jones announced his willingness to return, the UFC immediately paired him against Gane to fight for the vacant title. You can see who Vithlani supports on SportsLine.
The best UFC 285 picks
Sharing one of Vithlani’s UFC 285 picks here, he assists Amanda Ribas (-120) to raise her hand against Viviane Araujo (+100) in a women’s flyweight matchup on the preliminary card. The winner could be in line for a title shot in the top-heavy division.
Araujo (11-4) is a versatile fighter who has four submissions and three knockouts to her résumé. The 36-year-old Brazilian won 1-1 in two games in 2022, including a decision loss to fellow contestant Alexa Grasso in a UFC Fight Night main event in October, her first headlining appearance on the promotion.
Ribas (11-3) is a grappling specialist who emerged as a contender by winning her first four UFC games. But the 29-year-old Brazilian has lost two of her last three and is hoping to bounce back after a split-decision loss to Katlyn Chookagian last May.
“The real advantage in this fight is Ribas’ grappling. Araujo has solid takedown defense but eventually I see Ribas grappling through and taking control of the fight,” Vithlani told SportsLine. Visit SportsLine for more choices.
How to make UFC 285 picks
Vithlani also has strong picks for Jones vs. Gane and other fights on the UFC 285 card. He also backs a fighter who is “an absolute technician” to emerge with a dominant win. These tips are only available from SportsLine.
Who Will Win Jones vs. Gane at UFC 285? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now for in-depth tips on every fight at UFC 285, all from the MMA expert who made more than $6,200 in 2022, and find out.
UFC 285 odds fight card
Check out full UFC 285 tips, predictions and best bets here.
Jon Jones (-170) vs Ciryl Gane (+145)
Valentina Shevchenko (-600) vs. Alexa Grasso (+450)
Shavkat Rakhmonov (-500) vs Geoff Neal (+380)
Mateusz Gamrot (-210) vs. Jalin Turner (+175)
Bo Nickal (-1,700) vs. Jamie Pickett (+950)
Dricus Du Plessis (-240) vs. Derek Brunson (+200)
Amanda Ribas (-120) vs. Viviane Araujo (+100)
Marc-Andre Barriault (-145) vs. Julian Marquez (+125)
Cameron Saaiman (-275) vs. Mana Martinez (+225)
Tabatha Ricci (-265) vs. Jessica Penne (+225)
Farid Basharat (-480) vs. Da’Mon Blackshear (+360)
Cody Garbrandt (-165) vs. Trevin Jones (+145)
Ian Garry (-550) vs. Kenan Song (+400)