UFC 285: A night to remember

by | Mar 23, 2023 | Sports

UFC 285 happened in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 4th, and it was an eventful main card. There was a lot of build-up leading up to the event, including the long-awaited return of Jon Jones. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal was also at the event filming scenes for his new movie “Road House” with a staged fight in the octagon.

The first fight of the main card was a middleweight bout between 13-8 Jamie Pickett and 3-0 Bo Nickel, who has an impressive background in freestyle wrestling. Nickel’s wrestling shined in the fight as the moment Nickel took Pickett to the ground, Pickett looked helpless. Nickel won by submission at 2:54 into the first round.

The next fight was a lightweight bout between Mateusz Gamrot and Jalin Turner. The fight was pretty even for the most part until Gamrot was able to ground and pound Turner late in the third round. Gamrot ended up winning via split decision.

Next was a welterweight fight between undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov and veteran Geoff Neal. This fight was an absolute war. Both men landed punches and took devastating strikes throughout the contest. In the third round, Neal hit Rakhmonov with a one-two punch combo that wobbled him. However, Rakhmonov came back with a punch that nearly knocked out Neal and he grappled him into a corner, where Rakhmonov submitted Neal by rear-naked choke at 4:17 into the third round.

Co-Main event

The co-main event was the only women’s fight on the main card but it did not disappoint. The tilt was between defending flyweight champion and UFC veteran Valentina Shevchenko, and Mexican underdog Alexa Grasso.

In the first round, it was clear Grasso had the edge with her striking ability. However, in the second round, Shevchenko got the first takedown of the fight and dominated Grasso on the ground.

But in a crazy moment in the fourth round, Shevchenko missed a spinning kick, and Grasso was able to capitalize. Grasso put Shevchenko on her back with a nasty rear-naked choke. It was enough to make the champ tap, crowning Grasso the new UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion.

Grasso’s win as an underdog had her become the first ever female Mexican UFC champion. This fight will undoubtedly go down as one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

All of these amazing fights on the UFC 285 main card built up to the moment of Jon Jones’s return to the octagon.

Main event

The main event was between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane. This was Jon Jones’s first fight in three years and his first fight as a heavyweight. Not only that, but Jones would have a test in Ciryl Gane, who went the distance with former champ Francis Ngannou before he vacated the belt.

The odds were stacked against Jones, but once again, he came out on top, and he made it look easy. Jones put Gane in a guillotine choke that made him submit just two minutes into the first round. Jones took almost no damage besides a low-blow shot in the first five seconds of the fight. Ouch!

Jon Jones is the new heavyweight champ. Whether you love or hate him, with this performance, there’s no denying he’s one of the greatest UFC fighters ever.

What’s next

An immediate rematch between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso is possible. That fight was very close before Shevchenko made the mistake with her spinning kick. I think that rematch would be very entertaining if it happens.

Shortly after Jon Jones won his fight, Joe Rogan asked him in the octagon about a possible fight with former heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic.

“Stipe Miocic, I hope you’re training my guy. You’re the greatest heavyweight of all time, and that’s what I want, real bad,” said Jones.

If Jones vs. Miocic happens, it will undoubtedly be a big-time fight. I fear it will not happen, but if it does, it won’t be close. Stipe is 40 years old and has not fought in two years since he lost to Francis Ngannou.

Regardless, it will surely be fireworks the next time Jon Jones steps into the octagon, no matter who his opponent is.

Cover photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via ufc.com

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