UFC 285 Title Fight Previews and Predictions

UFC 285 Title Fight Previews and Predictions


UFC 285 Title Fight Previews and Predictions


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Valentina Shevchenko vs Alexa Grasso 

Undisputed Flyweight Queen, Valentina Shevchenko will attempt to make her ninth consecutive title defense against sixth ranked Alexa Grasso. Grasso enters the fight on a four fight win streak, defeating both Joanne Wood and Viviane Araujo in 2022. Grasso is a boxing heavy Mexican fighter that will look to keep this fight in the striking realm with Valentina and outpoint her with activity. Grasso does throw more strikes than Valentina, landing 5.14 significant strikes landed per minute compared to Valentina’s 3.19 significant strikes per minute. However, Valentina is the more accurate and powerful striker with a 68.5% significant strike accuracy compared to Grasso’s 53.4%. Valentina is the considerably more substantial finisher with 15 career finishes (8 KO 7 SUB) while Grasso only has five career finishes (4 KO 1 SUB) only one of which came in her UFC career. Valentina will have the advantage in the grappling department holding a higher takedown average and accuracy than Grasso, and having six more submissions to her name. 

Grasso is young and still not quite in her prime and she very well may fight for the belt again, but right now she just simply is not dynamic enough to hand Valentina her first loss in the UFC Women’s Flyweight division. I expect Shevchenko to keep the fight at range in the stand up with body and head kicks from her southpaw stance, and dominate the fight on the ground. Grasso has never been finished in her career and Valentina has not looked like the dominating finisher she once was as of late. Therefore, my official prediction is Valentina Schevchenko by Unanimous Decision.

Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane 


The greatest Light Heavyweight of all time will make his return to the octagon and his Heavyweight debut in the Main Event of Saturday’s UFC 285. Jon Jones will fight Ciryl Gane for the vacant Undisputed Heavyweight Championship. Jones will be making his first walk to the cage since February 8, 2020. In that time, Gane has had six fights, going 5-1 against the top of the UFC Heavyweight division, claimed an Interim Championship and challenged Francis Ngannou for the undisputed title. However, it would be laughable to let recency bias dismiss all that Jones has accomplished in his career. At the time Ciryl Gane made his UFC debut in October 2019, Jones was preparing for his 14th consecutive Light Heavyweight title defense. Jones has more UFC title defenses than Ciryl Gane has professional MMA fights. 

It feels pointless to break down their striking and grappling statistics considering Jones hasn’t fought in three years and has never fought at Heavyweight, but it is safe to say Jones’ clearest path to victory is on the ground and Gane’s clearest path to victory is on the feet. If Jon Jones looks anything like the Jon Jones of old I believe he dominates Gane on the ground for 25 minutes taking a dominant decision victory. However, as a betting man there are just too many questions and my official prediction is not a winner but rather a prop of OVER 4.5 rounds. Neither man has ever been finished and I don’t think that changes this weekend. I expect five rounds of the highest level Heavyweight MMA we’ve ever seen.

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