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UFC 285 preview: Jon Jones

February 8, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) fights Dominic Reyes (not pictured) during UFC 247 at the Toyota Center. Mandatory credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night at the UFC 285 headline, we’ll see the return of the greatest fighter of all time. Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) makes his highly anticipated comeback as he faces former interim heavyweight champion Cyril Jean (11-1) for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship.

In early 2020, Jon Jones defeated Dominic Reyes to retain his Light Heavyweight Championship. After the fight ended, Jones indicated his desire to vacate the light heavyweight title to focus on his transition to heavyweight. It took a long time, but we finally got to his heavyweight debut.

The UFC wanted Jones to face former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. However, when Ngannou could not come to an agreement on a new deal, Cyryl Gane got the call to take the best of the best.

This past January, Jin lost a decision to Francis Ngannou for the undisputed title. He bounced back strongly later in the year at UFC Paris when he knocked out Tai Tuivasa. Now, he’s looking to dethrone the goats and capture the undisputed gold.

UFC 285 prediction

One of the things that made Jon Jones so tough at light heavyweight was his height and range. Although he still has a bit of a range advantage against Jin, it’s nowhere near the advantage he would have at 205. That could play a factor tomorrow night.

If these two get into a kickboxing match where points are contested, Cyril Jean has a path to victory. I would expect him to work a lot of leg kicks while trying to use his movement to be a minus. In the meantime, I would expect Jones to plan ahead and put a lot of pressure on Jane.

Jane struggles with wrestling Frances Ngannou. Ngannou is not known for his wrestling while wrestling is Jon Jones’ norm. I’m expecting a very strong pressing style from Jones tomorrow night. Lots of pressure and lots of wrestling.

I have a feeling Gane will manage to stuff some takedowns early on. You might even see Gene win a round or two. However, as the fight goes on, I think Jones finds a way to grind at least three rounds on his way to becoming the UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Prediction: Jon Jones by decision

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