UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane – Overview and Predictions

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UFC 285 Jones vs Gane

UFC 285: Jones Vs. Gane is a mixed martial arts event that will be held in Paradise, Nevada – part of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area. It will take place March 4, 2023 at the T-Mobile Arena facility.

Curtis Calhoun and Drew Beaupre, MMA News reporters, met up to discuss their predictions for who will win the fights on Saturday’s main event. This weekend, join us for wall-to-wall coverage at UFC’s largest pay-per view of the year.

MMA News UFC 285 Predictions

Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett

Andrew Starc: Bo Nickal will make his UFC debut at UFC 285. Everyone will want Nickal to win quickly against Jamie Pickett.

Pickett lost four of six fights and was defeated in two of his last two bouts against Kyle Daukus or Denis Tiuliulin. Although Nickal is not yet a pro in MMA, he has shown that he can also be a formidable fighter. I predict a Nickal submission. (Prediction: Nickal)

Drew Beaupre: The UFC’s promotion debut is as simple as kicking off the main event of a major PPV show. It also demonstrates the UFC’s interest in Nickal. Pickett must understand that his job will be at stake in a fight that most people expect him to lose.

Since joining the UFC, “The Night Wolf”, currently has a record of 2-4 and has been stopped in three out of four losses. Although he’s the more experienced MMA fighter, he also had a ten-fight amateur record before he made his pro debut in 2011. However, everyone knows how decorated Nickal is.

It’s hard to know if Pickett is able to win this fight, despite his past experience and his reach advantage. Nickal is a potential star for UFC. It will be interesting to see how the UFC treats him now that he has made it to the main show after just three pro fights. (Prediction: Nickal)

Curtis Calhoun – Bo Nickal’s MMA history is far less than Jamie Pickett’s. For one of the most anticipated debuts of recent memory, he’ll make his UFC debut at T-Mobile Arena in front of a packed arena.

Nickal, despite his lack of experience will find a way for Pickett to grab him near the end the first round. This will allow Nickal to win a submission with the guillotine choke. (Prediction: Nickal)

Consensus: Bo Nickal

Mateusz Gamrot vs. Jalin Turner

Drew Beaupre: While there will be many questions about Gamrot’s preparation for the fight, it feels like he has a style that could cause Turner significant problems compared to the Dan Hooker originally scheduled.

The last time “The Tarantula”, faced a serious takedown threat, was against Matt Frevola. This is Turner’s most recent loss. Gamrot couldn’t assert his grappling against Beneil Dariush as much as he would have liked, but Turner will need to make sure that Turner’s takedown defense is on point in order to keep him from getting on his back.

Turner is clearly a threat to stop Gamrot from taking a submission or ending things on the feet. However, I believe Turner will be facing a difficult style and his win streak at UFC 285 will come to an end. (Prediction: Gamrot)

Curtis Calhoun – Jalin Turner switches in his opponents at UFC 285 last second, but manages to beat Mateusz Gamrot after three rounds.

Turner will find a way for Gamrot to stop his advances by using his feet and awkward ground technique. Gamrot is a formidable opponent, so this will likely go the full distance for Turner. (Prediction: Turner)

Andrew Starc: Mateusz Gamrot lost against Beneil Dariush October, ending his four-fight winning streak. With a win over Amran Tarukyan, the Pole previously declared himself a title contender. This showcased his incredible wrestling skills.

These skills could prove decisive against Jalin Turner. The 28-year old has defeated five of his opponents and most recently, he beat Brad Riddell in 45 seconds. Turner’s large reach advantage and heavy hands could make him a strong contender, but Gamrot is likely to win this match. (Prediction: Gamrot)

Consensus: Mateusz Gamrot

Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rahmonov

Curtis Calhoun – Shavkat Rahmonov has once again proven why he is one of the best talents in the welterweight division.

Rakhmonov’s Round 1 start will be slow as he deals to Geoff Neal’s technical boxing. After he has found his range, he will force a takedown and then win the fight with ground-and-pound. (Prediction: Rakhmonov)

Andrew Starc: Geoff Neal lost two consecutive fights and then rebounded in the late 2021 to win a split decision against Santiago Ponzinibbio. In August 2018, he defeated Vicente Luque, an ex-welterweight champion.

Neal proved that he can hang with the top ten in the division, but he faces a formidable challenge against Shavkat Rahmonov, who has defeated all 16 of his career opponents. Rakhmonov looks like the real deal, and I believe he will win another title here. (Prediction: Rakhmonov)

Drew Beaupre: Rakhmonov was impressive in his UFC test against Neil Magny and this matchup is almost as if it’s the final step before Neal starts fighting at welterweight.

“Nomad” can’t take Neal lightly, considering his power. But “Handz of Steel”, however, will be dangerous so long as the fight continues. Rakhmonov has proven himself to be both a competent striker and a dominant grappler so it shouldn’t take him long to bring down Neal and begin hunting for a submission.

A Neal upset win would place the 32-year old on the edge of title contention. But it seems more likely that Rakhmonov will extend his undefeated record by finishing another race. (Prediction: Rakhmonov)

Consensus: Shavkat Rahmonov

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso

Drew Beaupre: While it’s disappointing that Taila Santos was not given a rematch against Shevchenko, she did beat her arguably. However, Grasso has a valid case for a title shot after four straight wins.

Since joining the UFC in 2016, the 29-year old has made significant progress. It’s an incredible achievement to be able to put together a win streak and get her first UFC title shot. Grasso is likely to lack the skill set and style required to test Shevchenko the same way Santos was.

Grasso is a skilled all-rounder and will likely give a great account of herself. However, Shevchenko should defend the title and either set up a rematch against Santos or a fight against Erin Blanchfield. (Prediction: Shevchenko)

Curtis Calhoun – Alexa Grasso against Valentina Shevchenko will show her toughness and grit, but she won’t be able deal with Shevchenko’s versatility.

Shevchenko will draw a lot from her fight against Taila, and use vastly improved grappling to stop Grasso’s Jiu-Jitsu. To control the pace and stifle Grasso’s boxing, she will land a series leg kicks in the middle rounds. (Prediction: Shevchenko)

Andrew Starc: Valentina Shchenko’s invincibility was apparently shattered by her fight against Taila Santes. Santos could have easily won the split decision victory. Are her days as the flyweight champion of the flyweight division overnumbered now that Valentina is 35 days old, just a few days after UFC 285.

Alex Grasso was able to take on the champ after accumulating four wins. She had most recently defeated Viviane Arajo. However, I doubt she will be able to defeat Shevchenko. To finish this, I am picking Valentina. (Prediction: Shevchenko)

Consensus: Valentina Shevchenko

Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane

Drew Beaupre: While there is much technical analysis that could and should be used to pick a winner in this intriguing style matchup it’s hard to ignore the important intangible factors going into this fight.

Jones is a talented fighter and would be a great addition to the UFC’s roster if he won the heavyweight title. However, I can’t pick any fighter who’s moving up to another weight class or hasn’t fought for over three years. (Prediction: Gane)

Andrew Starc: Jon Jones, light heavyweight champion, ended his reign with a series a not so convincing performances. This included a win over Dominick Reyes that could have easily been against him. After dominating the division for so many years, was Jones feeling demotivated? I would like to believe so. Jones will be able to step up to heavyweight with renewed determination.

Jones must face many challenges against Ciryl Gane. Jones will have to adjust to a new weight category and face a feisty opponent who is able to manage fights and win. Although it will be close, Jones’ wrestling skills, experience and fight intelligence will make this a decisive fight. (Prediction: Jones)

Curtis Calhoun – Jon Jones will remind UFC fans about his greatness by delivering a jaw-dropping fight against Ciryl Gane.

Jones will repeatedly take Gane down, so Gane will try to land leg kicks and body shots on Jones early on. Gane will submit to a rear-naked choke midway through Round 3 after enduring the rigors of Jones’ wrestling. (Prediction: Jones)

Consensus: Jon Jones

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