UFC 285 predictions: Jones or Gane, Shevchenko or Grasso in title fights?
MMA Junkie readers’
2018, 2022 Champion
The UFC stays home in Las Vegas this week, but shifts to a big venue with a pair of title fights atop the bill.
UFC 285 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and early prelims on ESPN+.
(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)
In the main event, former longtime light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) takes on Ciryl Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for the vacant heavyweight title, which became available when Francis Ngannou and the promotion parted ways earlier this year. Jones will fight for the first time in more than three years and will be making his debut at heavyweight.
Jones is slight favorite at -170 at Tipico Sportsbook; the comeback on Gane is +145. But our 11 editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers slight underdog Gane with the narrowest possible edge at 6-5.
In the co-feature, dominant women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko (23-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) puts her title on the line against Alexa Grasso (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC). Shevchenko is a huge favorite of more than 7-1, but she’s not a unanimous pick. One of our pickers is taking Grasso in a major upset.
Also on the main card, Geoff Neal (15-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) finds himself a big underdog against unbeaten welterweight Shavkat Rakhmonov (16-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), who is more than a 5-1 favorite. Rakhmonov has a whopping 10-1 picks lead.
Mateusz Gamrot (21-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is more than a 2-1 favorite in his lightweight bout against Jalin Turner (13-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC), and he has a big 8-3 lead from our staff members.
And to open the main card, Bo Nickal (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is a favorite of historic proportions at 19-1 in his middleweight fight against Jamie Pickett (13-8 MMA, 2-4 UFC). Nickal, a highly touted wrestling standout, will make his UFC debut.
In the MMA Junkie consensus picks, Jones (68 percent), Shevchenko (87 percent), Rakhmonov (85 percent), 64 percent) and Nickal (90 percent) are the choices.
Check out all the picks above.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 220.
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