Jon Jones opens as betting underdog for UFC 285 title fight vs. Ciryl Gane

Jon Jones finds himself in unfamiliar territory: as an underdog heading into a fight.

Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, will make his much-anticipated heavyweight debut March 4 at  UFC 285 in Las Vegas, where he will face Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title. The belt became vacant after reigning champ Francis Ngannou was released following a more than year-long contract dispute with the UFC.

Jones, 35, will enter UFC 285 as a slight underdog at +100, with Gane, 32, coming back as a -120 favorite, according to BestFightOdds.com. This means a $100 bet on Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) would yield winnings of $100, whereas a $120 wager on Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) would earn bettors $100.

This marks just the third time in 23 UFC appearances that Jones has opened as a betting underdog and the first time in almost 14 years. The only other times Jones opened as a betting underdog were his first two UFC fights, most recently when he faced Stephan Bonnar at +140. Jones went on to defeat Bonnar by unanimous decision on Jan. 31, 2009 at UFC 94.

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Jones, considered by many to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time, will enter UFC 285 with question marks having not competed since February 2020, when he edged out a controversial decision over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. It marked his 13th career title fight win at 205 pounds.

Gane, a former UFC interim heavyweight champion, is coming off a third-round knockout of Tai Tuivasa last September at UFC Fight Night 209. The victory was a rebound from his lone career setback, a unanimous decision loss to Ngannou in a title-unification bout last January at UFC 270.

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

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie