UFC 285 lived up to the hype
ABOVE: Marc-André Barriault speaks to UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan after his victory in the Octagon. (Photo: Keith Whittier)
The much-anticipated return of Jon Jones overshadowed the entire evening at UFC 285 in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the main event at T-Mobile arena, the man many recognize as the greatest of all time needed only two minutes and four seconds to win the vacant undisputed heavyweight title by defeating Ciryl Gane by submission.
In the first few seconds of the fight, Gane hit Jones with a low blow, but that didn’t phase Jones as he had little to no opposition against Gane. The former light heavyweight champion who vacated that title when he moved up to heavyweight, Jones looked effortless in the fight.
ABOVE: The main event at UFC 285 saw Jon Jones win the Heavyweight Title against Ciryl Gane. (Photo: Keith Whittier)
The win sets up a fantasy fight between Jones and former champion Stipe Miocic, the only UFC Heavyweight champion to successfully defended the title three consecutive times.
The upset of the night was Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko, who lost her title by submission to Alexa Grasso. Shevchenko held the title for nearly five years and was the longest-reigning UFC champion. Shevchenko's loss will most likely set up an immediate title rematch, but there are now three Mexican-born champions in the UFC. The UFC has expansion plans into Mexico to develop a performance institute to train future fighters.
The lone Canadian on the card, Marc-Andre Barriault, lived up to his nickname POWERBAR. All judges gave the first round to Julian Marquez as he came out strong. Barriault went to another level in the second round and overwhelmed his opponent with a barrage of punches that forced the referee to stop the fight.
With 19,471 in attendance, UFC 285 was a sellout. The total gate revenue was $12,154,753 — the fourth largest gate in UFC history and the largest ever for a heavyweight bout.
The fight of the night was Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov. Rakhmonov went to 17-0 by submitting Neal in the third round. The performers of the night were Jon Jones, Alexa Grasso, and Bo NIchal. All five of those competitors win an extra $50,000.
The UFC put on a fantastic show with several days of events leading up to a great night of MMA action on Saturday night. The UFC is an exciting company. In a world where a team wins a Super Bowl and is then declared ‘World Champions,’ the UFC is actually a global company. They host events in multiple locations worldwide, from Canada, Mexico, England, France, Australia, and Brazil, to name a few. Having the opportunity to see the UFC live should be on every fan's Bucket List.
2023 marks the 30th anniversary of UFC, and like a proud Canadian businessman once said, the best is yet to come.
Full UFC 285 Results
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Esteban Ribovics vs. Loik Radhabov (W) unanimous decision
Da’Mon Blackshear vs. Farid Basharat (W) unanimous decision
Women’s Strawweight Bout
Jessica Penne vs. Tabitha Ricci (W)
Mana Martinez vs. Camron Saaiman (W) Unanimous Decision
Ian Garry (W) Technical Knockout vs. Song Kenan
Julian Marquez vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (W) TKO Round 2
Vivian’s Araujo vs. Amanda Ribas (W) Unanimous decision
Derek Brunson vs. Dricus Du Plessis (W) TKO
Cody Garbrandt (W) Unanimous decision vs. Trevin Jones
Bo Nichal (W) Submission – arm triangle vs. Jamie Pickett
Mateusz Gamrot W Split Decision vs. Jalin Turner
Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rahkmonov (W) Submission
Women’s Flyweight Title
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso (W) Submission
Jon Jones (W) Submission vs. Ciryl Gane