The UFC heads back to the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada for its next pay-per-view card which takes place on March 4.
UFC 285 will see the return of Jon Jones after a 3 year hiatus as he moves up to heavyweight for the first time in his illustrious UFC career.
Jon Jones is set to fight Frenchman Ciryl Gane in the Main Event for the UFC heavyweight title. The co-Main event will see Valentina Shevchenko defend her UFC flyweight title for the 8th consecutive time against Mexican Alexa Grasso.
UFC 285 also features a number of exciting fights both on the Main Card as well as the prelims.
Some of the other fights that you can look forward to includes an exciting clash in the welterweight division will see Geoff Neal take on the undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov, wrestling ace Bo Nickal take on Jamie Pickett and former UFC bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt fight Trevin Jones.
Our MMA betting experts will breakdown the Main Event and co-Main Event and provide valuable insight to help you make an educated betting decision.
Best Sports Betting Sites for UFC 285
MMA fans looking to bet on UFC 285 can find a number of great sports betting sites on our featured list. All of these sportsbooks provide extensive coverage of UFC pay per view cards and Fight Night cards along with a wide range of global sporting events.
5/5 Read Review
102 user ratings
Deposit $25, Get up to $2500
(T&Cs apply, 18+)
4/5 Read Review
93 user ratings
50% up to $200
(T&Cs apply, 18+)
3.5/5 Read Review
30 user ratings
300% Casino Match / 50% Sports Match
(T&Cs apply, 18+)
5/5 Read Review
113 user ratings
50% up to $250+$100 Welcome Bet
(T&Cs apply, 18+)
4.8/5 Read Review
109 user ratings
100% up to $500
(T&Cs apply, 18+)
UFC 284 – what happened?
UFC 284 took place in Perth, Australia and was a very successful event for the promotion. The card was headlined by a massive fight as UFC Lightweight champ Islam Makhachev defended his title for the first time in Perth against UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski who moved up a weight class to fight Islam.
Apart from the UFC lightweight title up for grabs, this was also a fight to determine who was the best pound for pound fighter in the promotion as Islam was ranked number 2 and Volk was ranked number 1.
The fight lived up to expectations as it turned out to be the toughest fight that Islam has had in the UFC till date. Islam generally has no problem taking down his opponents but he found Volk to be a very difficult challenge to take down as well as to engage with on the feet.
While Islam looked good in the first couple of rounds, things started becoming more difficult as the fight progressed. In the final round, Volk turned things around and had Islam on the ground and was beating him up. The fight went to the judges and Islam ended up winning by unanimous decision to retain his UFC lightweight championship which we had predicted.
There are talks that both fighters would like to have a rematch as many felt that Volk should have won that fight. However, the UFC is unlikely to make that fight next as they want Volk to defend his featherweight belt.
The co-Main event saw Mexican Yair Rodriguez battle American Josh Emmett for the UFC interim featherweight title. We expected this to be a war as both fighters are excellent strikers and it was a war while it lasted. However, it was mostly a one-sided war as Yair looked exceptional on the night and Emmett really had no answers.
The big surprise though was that Yair did not finish Emmett by strikes which we had thought but ended up taking him down and submitting him in the second round to win the interim title and set up a fight with Volk next!
* Odds have been provided by BetOnline and are accurate of February 27, 2023
Main Event Breakdown: UFC Heavyweight Championship
UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou relinquished his heavyweight title when he decided to not re-sign with the UFC and leave the promotion. The UFC and Ngannou have been at loggerheads for a long time and apparently Ngannou wasn’t willing to accept a contract that UFC President Dana White claimed was the highest paying contract for a heavyweight fighter in the history of the promotion.
With Ngannou forfeiting his belt, the UFC decided initially to get former UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic welcome former UFC lightheavyweight champ Jon Jones to the heavyweight division and fight for the belt.
However, Miocic turned down the fight for reasons unknown as the UFC then decided to bring in their number one contender in Ciryl Gane and schedule a fight with Jones who is coming off a 3 year break after relinquishing his lightheavyweight championship in a bid to move up to heavyweight.
Jon Jones (26 – 1 – 0)
Odds to win: -156 (1.64)
When this fight was announced, Jon Jones initially opened as an underdog which was something new as Jones has always been the betting favorite over the last decade. Those odds have slightly shifted in Jones favour and he is once again the betting favorite going into this fight but not by much.
Jon ‘Bones’ Jones needs no introduction to MMA fans as he is widely considered the greatest of all time (GOAT) to ever set foot into the Octagon. Jones technically has one loss in his MMA career but that wasn’t a loss but a disqualification for illegal blows against Matt Hamill in 2009.
Jones dominated at the lightheavyweight division and has had 11 title defenses. Jones has beaten some of the best fighters in MMA which includes Daniel Cormier (x2), Alexander Gustafsson (x2), Quinton Jackson, Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort. Jones decided to leave the lightheavyweight division and give up his belt because he wanted a new challenge at heavyweight.
He hasn’t fought in the last 3 years as initially he wasn’t able to get the UFC to agree to the terms of a new contract that he wanted. During that time, he worked with Stan Efferding to put on the weight, build muscle and increase his strength to prepare for his move to heavyweight.
Fans wonder how Jones is going to perform at heavyweight given this is his first fight. MMA fans know the incredible skillset that Jones has and his fight IQ but there are still questions over his speed, cardio and ability to take a shot at heavyweight.
Ciryl Gane (11 – 1 – 0)
Odds to win: +136 (1.74)
Ciryl Gane gets a second crack at becoming UFC heavyweight champ. His first shot at the heavyweight title was in Jan 2022, when he fought Francis Ngannou and ended up losing by decision. Ngannou who is not known for his wrestling, took Gane down and managed to hold him down to score points with the judges.
Gane has had over 12 months to work on his takedown defense and his wrestling but will it hold up against the wrestling pedigree of Jon Jones. Gane is an exceptional striker and moves like a middleweight. He will not be afraid of standing and trading with Jones because he has incredible KO power as we saw in his last fight against Tai Tuivasa.
Gane must be able to stop the takedowns or be able to quickly get up, if he wants to win this fight and become new heavyweight champion.
Prediction: Our experts believe that Jon Jones will become the new heavyweight champion and will stop Gane and win by submission.
Co-Main Event: Interim Featherweight Title
Valentina Shevchenko has been dominant at flyweight ever since she became champion with the exception of her last fight against Talia Santos in June 2022 which she won by decision. Shevchenko has had 7 consecutive successful title defenses and is looking to make it 8 in a row as she is pretty confident she will beat Alexa Grasso.
Valentina Shevchenko (C) (23 – 3 – 0)
Odds to win: -600 (1.17)
Valentina Shevchenko has been a massive betting favorite with UFC bookies in all of her title fights at flyweight and it is no different for this one. Shevchenko is the complete package as she has great striking, excellent defense and is not afraid of doing to the ground.
Shevchenko got some flak after her last fight as she did not look as dominant as before against Santos. She will want to come back strong against Grasso and possibly get a finish to establish herself as the queen of the flyweight division.
Alexa Grasso (15 – 3 – 0)
Odds to win: +425 (5.25)
Alexa Grasso has improved her striking incredibly during the last couple of years and has a deadly jab. She is also pretty good on the ground but the big question is how will her ground game hold up against Shevchenko’s?
Prediction: Our experts believe that Shevchenko will come back stronger in this fight and is likely to win by decision.
To check out the full list of fights for UFC 285, check out the official UFC website.