UFC 285 takes place this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada and is headlined by a huge main event and stacked from top to bottom with great fights. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting fights taking place this weekend and the fights that will keep us all glued to our screens.
Jon Jones (26-1) vs Ciryl Gane (11-1) (#1)
(C) Valentina Shevchenko (23-3) vs Alexa Grasso (15-3) (#6)
(#7) Geoff Neal (15-4) vs Shavkat Rakhmanov (16-0) (#9)
(#7) Mateusz Gamrot (21-2) vs Jalin Turner (13-5) (#10)
Bo Nickal (3-0) vs. Jamie Pickett (13-8)
In the main event, we have the consensus greatest UFC fighter of all time, Jon Jones, taking on Ciryl Gane, who is the current number one ranked heavyweight in the world. Jon Jones is someone we have not seen in the octagon in three years now, and on his comeback fight, he is moving up in weight and fighting the best of the best in Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight title. Since Jon Jones has been inactive, Gane has fought six times in the UFC with a 5-1 record, only losing to former champion Francis Ngannou, who has now parted ways with the promotion. Neither fighter has ever been finished in their careers and has proven to be able to withstand a lot of damage. Jones is as much of a mystery as ever after a three-year layoff from the sport, but if he comes back to the sport with the same ability he left with, we are in for an absolute treat come Saturday night.
In the co-main event, we have the most dominant champion in the history of the division, Valentina Shevchenko, fighting against new blood in the division, Alexa Grasso, who has won her last four fights and has been decided to be the next opponent for Valentina. In Valentina’s last fight, people saw holes in her game that they had never seen before against Talia Santos, whom some fans had her winning, but she did end up losing via decision. Alexa Grasso is 29 years old, while later this week Valentina turns 35. Although Valentina has shown no signs of retirement, with all the fights she has had with the new generation in her division, such as Casey O’Neal, Alexa Grasso, and Erin Blanchfield, some fans suspect that she could potentially be on the way out and that her dominance cannot continue forever. As much as a talented MMA artist as Grasso is, it looks like the UFC may be setting up Valentina to have another title defense here as she looks to be the better fighter no matter where the fight goes.
In the next most anticipated fight, we have Shavkat Rakhmanov vs. Geoff Neal, which is the UFC testing Shavkat against a now veteran fighter in Geoff Neal. Shavkat Rakhmanov is already set to be one of the stars of the future of the UFC, and Geoff Neal was the only man willing to fight him, as rumours say that multiple fighters in the division turned down the fight before Geoff Neal was offered the matchup. Rakhmanov is a special fighter, coming into this fight with 16 victories, all of which are by finish (eight by TKO/KO, eight by submission), and in all of his fights, he has had no real competition. No matter who has been in front of him at the time, they have looked like no match to him once the fight starts, but Geoff Neal will be facing the toughest fight of his career, and coming off of his best performance yet by becoming the first person to beat Vicente Luque by KO, nothing but a fantastic fight is promised this weekend.
Other than these fights, there are many more that are expected to be great this weekend. Gamrot vs. Turner is an amazing matchup with both fighters having amazing finishing records. Gamrot is coming off a loss against top-ranked Beneil Dariush and will be looking to regain ground here against Turner, whereas Turner is on a 5-fight win streak and will be looking to keep winning ways and launch himself into the title picture with a win against Gamrot. Bo Nickal will also be making his long-awaited UFC debut against Jamie Pickett in a fight where Nickel is expected to just run over him. Nickal is a three-time NCAA wrestling champion and has had his eye on competing in the UFC since he was a young boy.