During his time away from mixed martial arts, Jon Jones says he lived a low-key life 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 top-ranked contender Cyril Gane for the vacant heavyweight title. The five-round fight headlines the main fight card of UFC 285 (10 p.m. ET) from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Jones retired from the sport after defending his light heavyweight title in February 2020 against Dominic Reyes, which he won by narrow decision. He has deliberately kept a low profile during his absence from the sport, but told the media this week that he feels fresh mentally and physically and is ready to build on his legacy by winning another title.
Jones is a -170 favorite ($170 risk to win $100), while Gaine is back at +145 in the latest UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (-600) makes her eighth title defense when she meets Alexa Grasso (+450). Before you lock in any UFC 285 picks, be sure to check out SportsLine analyst Daniel Vithlani’s MMA predictions and betting tips.
Vithlani is a highly analytical UFC player who has won more than $6,200 for $100 bettors in 2022. This includes a proven record of 24-14 in his respectable two-legged stakes. Each choice was documented on his public Instagram account.
From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps up close, to watching sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the gamut of the MMA betting landscape from top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and regularly speaks with MMA fighters to understand the nuances of the sport.
In his SportsLine debut at UFC 283 in January, Vithlani won the main card and his 5-0 record had SportsLine members tipped to back Jamahal Hill (-125) over Glover Teixeira (+105) for the vacancy lightweight title in the main event. . Anyone who has followed him has seen huge returns.
Now, with UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane on the horizon, Vithlani has scoured the card from top to bottom for value and released his top MMA picks. You can only see who to support on SportsLine.
UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane preview
Jones, who has had his share of troubles outside the cage, has long been one of the sport’s most polarizing figures. But almost every analyst and avid MMA watcher agrees that he belongs on the short list as among the greatest of all time and occupies the top spot for the majority of MMA historians. Others in the discussion include former welterweight champion Georges St.-Pierre and former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired with an undefeated record in 2020.
Jones (26-1-1) saw his only professional loss come by knockout, although narrow decisions against Reyes and Thiago Santos in his last two outings led some observers to suggest he had either lost his lead or competition or some combination had evolved.
The 35-year-old New Yorker announced he is stepping down from light heavyweight to focus on a move to heavyweight with the goal of becoming a two-division champion. He reportedly wanted a fight with former champion Francis Ngannou, but negotiations broke down because the fighters couldn’t agree on a schedule and both were unhappy with the UFC’s purse bids. Ngannou has left the UFC and is now free.
In his last UFC appearance, Ngannou overcame an early two-round deficit and used his wrestling to earn a decision over Gane (11-1), handing the French fighter his first professional loss. Gane responded by knocking out Tai Tuivasa in the third round in September last year.
Coincidentally, Gane has often been compared to Jones due to his athleticism, versatility and multi-discipline skill. When Jones announced he was ready to return, the UFC immediately paired him with Gaine to compete for the vacant title. You can see who Vithlani is supporting at SportsLine.
UFC 285 Top Picks
We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC 285 picks here: She’s backing Amanda Ribas (-120) to raise her hand against Viviane Araujo (+100) in a fight of women’s flyweight contenders on the preliminary card. The winner could be in line for a top flight title shot.
Araujo (11-4) is a versatile fighter who has four submissions and three knockouts on her resume. The 36-year-old Brazilian went 1-1 in two outings in 2022, which included a decision loss to fellow competitor Alexa Grasso in a UFC Fight Night main event in October, her first appearance with the promotion.
Ribas (11-3) is a grappling specialist who has emerged as a contender by winning her first four UFC outings. But the 29-year-old Brazilian has lost two of her last three and will be hoping to bounce back from a loss to Katlyn Chookagian last May.
“The real advantage in this fight is Ribas’ grappling. Araujo has strong takedown defense, but at some point, I see Ribas facing the fight and taking control of the fight,” Vithlani told SportsLine. You can see more options at SportsLine.
How to make UFC 285 picks
Vithlani also has strong picks for Jones vs. Gane and other bouts on the UFC 285 card. He also backs a fighter who “is an absolute technician” to come away with a dominant victory. These options are only available on SportsLine.
Who beats Jones vs. Gane at UFC 285? And how exactly does each match end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks for every fight at UFC 285, all from the MMA expert who earned more than $6,200 in 2022 and find out.
UFC 285 odds, match sheet
See full UFC 285 picks, predictions, best bets here.
Jon Jones (-170) vs Cyril 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)