UFC 285 results, releases: Jon Jones secures his place in history, Alexa Grasso shocks the world

Saturday’s UFC 285 was the kind of event that changes the future of the sport in more significant ways than the average UFC pay-per-view. And it’s debatable whether Jon Jones’ easy dominance of Ciryl Gane to become heavyweight champion or Alexa Grasso’s shocking submission of longtime flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko was the most game-changing moment.

Fans have been wondering about a Jones heavyweight run for more than a decade, and the moment finally came on Saturday, with Jones facing a top heavyweight in Gane. Jones’ prowess was on full display as he needed just over two minutes to force Gane past and win his second career weight class title.

Jones’ win changed the heavyweight division in a huge way and could have big payoffs for the UFC as a whole, but Grasso grabbing the title from Shevchenko was far more shocking. Shevchenko, in the midst of one of the biggest title runs in UFC history, fell victim to Grasso’s ability to land a single missed punch and force a submission.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest takeaways that came out of the wild fight card that was UFC 285.

Jones secures his place as the GOAT

Like pound-for-pound debates, MMA’s “Greatest of All Time” debates are completely subjective, and there’s no way to convince anyone to agree with your opinion. That being said, Jones secured his place as MMA’s “GOAT” on Saturday night, not only finally moving up to heavyweight, but making incredibly easy work of Gane, a proven and capable top heavyweight.

Jones may have already claimed that status, with a resume filled with legends and elite heavyweights, very few of whom were able to force Jones into a competitive fight until he seemed to lose interest in fighting at his best as soon as accomplished the 205-pound Field. We’ve all heard it for years, Jones’ worst enemy is himself, as evidenced by his failed drug tests and run-ins with the law.

The long-awaited move to heavyweight wasn’t just something Jones needed for his legacy, it was exactly what Jones needed to reignite that old competitive fire.

While there was a lot of talk about how dangerous an opponent Gane was, the reality is that a properly motivated Jones will always be a nightmare for someone dealing with Gane’s shortcomings. Even so, the fight was not to be so easyexcept that Jones is this special one.

Now a two-division champion, with an 18-game winning streak at the sport’s highest level — and his only career loss a controversial knockout in 2009 — it looks like the debate is over.

Jon Jones is the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Jon Jones is the greatest of all time.

Grasso scores the latest stunning title upset

UFC women’s divisions tend to produce incredible, long-time champions. But mixed martial arts is a fickle sport with so many paths to victory that it’s almost a guarantee that defeat will eventually find even the greatest fighters. You can safely add Alexa Grasso’s rear naked choke submission of Valentina Shevchenko to capture the women’s flyweight championship in a list of upsets that includes the likes of Holly Holm knocking out sensation Ronda Rousey, Rose Namajunas knocking out Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Julianna Pena choking out Amanda Nunes.

Grasso fought well in the first round, but Shevchenko seemed to have downloaded the information necessary to turn the tables as the fight wore on. Shevchenko continued to use grappling to distract Grasso from her favored striking tools. But Grasso seized a split-second opportunity, closing in on Shevchenko’s back after the champion missed a spinning kick and immediately taking the fight to the floor and locking up the choke, snapping a nine-fight winning streak for Shevchenko that included seven title wins. defenses.

Shevchenko will surely get an immediate rematch, which will force Grasso to prove that the win was no fluke. Of those previously discussed women who ended the reigns of reigning champions, only Namajunas won her first title defense.

No one can ever take away that Grasso shocked the world and will forever be able to lay claim to UFC gold, but if she wants to build a bigger legacy, she needs to go out and beat one of the greatest champions in UFC history again from beginning.

Rachmanov passes the test

The UFC 285 main card opened with several bouts that featured heavyweight prospects getting a chance to shine on the big stage. Shavkat Rakhmonov was among those men and showed the qualities that have so many MMA fans excited about his future in the Octagon. submission victory over Jeff Neal.

To be clear, the race was anything but easy for Rakhmonov. Neal was fully willing to engage in striking exchanges that saw both men eat clean, heavy shots. In the third round, Neal even appeared to hurt Rakhmonov badly with a combination, forcing Rakhmonov to go into grappler mode and pin Neal against the cage, until a chance to lock in a standing bulldog choke brought the fight to a close.

These are the kinds of struggles you hope to see a candidate go through. You want to see an up-and-coming fighter get pushed a little bit and have to respond in moments of adversity. And, just as the fans want to see it, a fighter has to know what he’s capable of in those moments. Rachmanov has now been tested and has proven that when adversity presents itself, he can find a way to make an adjustment and finish the match.

Rakhmonov is now 17-0, with 17 wins coming by stoppage. He claims he’s now ready to get into the title mix, calling out Colby Covington for a No. 1 contender’s fight. A fight with Covington is a far more difficult test, but it would be better to see Rakhmonov move up the ranks quickly than be stuck fighting middle-of-the-road contenders for years to come.

A successful — but questionable — UFC debut for Nickal

Very few fighters have made their UFC debut with more hype than Bo Nickal. The award-winning amateur wrestler won his first three professional bouts — two of which came at Dana White’s Contender Series — and both some fans and Nickal himself claimed the 27-year-old was already capable of fighting for a world title. championship.

So huge was the hype surrounding Nickal’s debut that some major American sportsbooks were offering lines as high as +175 that Nickal would beat Jamie Pickett in the first minute of the fight. To be fair, before the first minute was up, Nickal was already fishing for a submission finish. That finish would come at the 2:54 mark of the first round when Nickal was able to force the faucet in an arm-triangle choke.

There was just enough controversy to take some of the shine off Nickal’s win, with a clean low blow leading to a takedown that was not spotted by the referee. Given how instrumental Nickal’s takedown was, it’s understandable that Pickett’s manager is allegedly planning to appeal the loss on the grounds that the foul changed the course of the match.

Still, it’s hard to see the fight turning around, and a rematch with Pickett is a waste of time for everyone involved. As unfair as it is, we hope both men just move on to the next step in their careers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *