The most anticipated UFC PPV thus far in 2023 is almost upon us. Two titles will be on the line as Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane square off for the UFC Heavyweight Championship that Francis Ngannou relinquished after he failed to come to terms with the promotion on a new contract. Additionally, Valentina Shevchenko will defend the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship for the eighth time over the past five years in the co-main event.
UFC 285 will see a new UFC Heavyweight Champion crowned as either Jon Jones or Ciryl Gane will be the 18th person to claim the title. This promotion will take place on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The prelims will start at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+ while the main card will be available via PPV at 10 p.m. ET.
UFC 285 Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Jon Jones -175
Ciryl Gane +145
It’s been interesting to follow the UFC betting odds prior to this promotion. Initially, the oddsmakers made this bout a virtual pick ‘em when the main event was announced on January 14. The first big bets were on Gane, and he became a -150 favorite, but most of the action has been on Jones since that point. Although Jones has failed multiple drug tests, many fans consider him one of the greatest fighters ever.
Jones is 26-1-1 in his career, and his lone blemishes are from a DQ because of illegal elbows and a No Contest after he tested positive for Turinabol following a win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. His legacy has been marred by those failed drug tests and inconsistencies in other drug tests though.
There are real concerns about Jones ahead of this fight. He hasn’t entered the Octagon in over three years at this point, and he is moving up from light heavyweight to heavyweight in order to take on Gane. While Gane lost to Francis Ngannou last January, he has defeated everyone else in his path and nearly took down Ngannou. Gane won the first two rounds against Ngannou before the former champion changed tactics and went on to win a 49-46, 48-47, 48-47 decision.
In his last fight, Gane controlled the action against Tai Tuivasa in order to ensure he would get another title shot if Ngannou did leave the UFC. Gane doesn’t have the same reach that Jones does, but he is more comfortable at this weight, and he has far less questions than Jones too coming into this fight. That makes Gane a nice bet given the current MMA betting odds.
Valentina Shevchenko -835
Alexa Grasso +550
There’s an argument to be made that Valentina Shevchenko is now one of the three greatest female fighters in UFC history. Shevchenko has carried the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship around her waist since December 2018, and her only two losses since 2010 have been against the great Amanda Nunes. However, Shevchenko was less than dominant in her last fight and only won a split decision against Taila Santos at UFC 275 in Singapore.
Although Alexa Grasso is unlikely to beat Shevchenko, she has to be the play here given the enormous action on Shevchenko. Grasso has won four straight fights, and we have seen the two titans in the women’s division lose a lot of shine in the last 15 months as Nunes lost to Julianna Pena in December 2021, and Shevchenko arguably should have lost to Santos.
Mateusz Gamrot -205
Jalin Turner +175
This is a very intriguing fight between two top ten lightweight fighters. Mateusz Garmot is a moderately priced favorite over Jalin Turner by the UFC betting line, as he is 21-2 in his professional career. Gamrot has lost two of his six fights since joining the UFC, but he has won three bonuses and finished three of his opponents inside of two rounds.
As for Jalin Turner, he has worked his way back from losing two of his first three fights to become a real challenger again. Turner has won five straight fights coming into UFC 285, and he has won all of them by either TKO or submission inside of two rounds. However, Gamrot is the pick here considering the level of competition he has faced has been considerably more difficult.