Israel Adesanya picks Ciryl Gane to beat Jon Jones at UFC 285, cites activity as big factor

Israel Adesanya raises concern over Jon Jones’ inactivity heading into his fight against Ciryl Gane at UFC 285.

It will have been more than three years since Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) competed when he takes on Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for the vacant heavyweight title in Saturday’s main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

Many pundits are pointing to Gane’s wrestling as something for Jones to exploit after he was outgrappled by Francis Ngannou at UFC 270, but Adesanya says Ngannou’s grapple-heavy approach took Gane by surprise.

“Jones out for three years, (and) Gane’s been active – he’s that new breed of heavyweight,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “He’s light on his feet, very mixed striking, good grappling. People forget just because Francis took him down, but I think that’s the element of surprise, as well. Francis is strong as f*ck and knows how to wrestle.

“So when Gane wasn’t expecting it, he thought he was going to have to bang with Francis because that’s what Francis is known for. But Gane can grapple, man. The way he fights as a heavyweight, he’s so light. He does the oblique kick well, great footwork, good submissions so far. Real creative, real random ones, like a heel hook. Good leg kicks, as well. Jones’ wrestling, that’s his superpower, isn’t it? And range control.”


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However, Adesanya says three years is a long time to be out of action and can’t help but think it’ll impact Jones – especially against a fighter like Gane.

“The thing is, three years, bro,” Adesanya said. “Three years away from the game is a hard ask for any man just to be away from fighting for that long. There’s a few, special few, that can actually f*ck off and come back and still look great, and I feel like Jon’s one of them. But again, when you talk about special few fighters, trust me, Ciryl’s one of those guys, as well.

“If you want to wake up for a guy in the morning, this is the guy. Ciryl Gane, ‘Bon Gamin’ – he’s game. This is a guy to wake up for. I think because of activity, to be honest, and who he is, I’m going to go Ciryl, but I won’t be surprised if ‘Bones’ wins.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 285.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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