Former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has provided his prediction for tonight’s UFC 285 title main event between arch-rival, the returning Jon Jones and French standout, Ciryl Gane – picking the latter to capitalize on Jones’ inactivity and clinch the vacant heavyweight title. 

Adesanya, the current #1 ranked middleweight contender and former undisputed division kingpin, is slated to make his Octagon return next month atop a UFC 287 card against Alex Pereira – attempting to avenge a November knockout loss to the Brazilian in Miami, Florida.

Taking main event honors this weekend, Jones, a former two-time undisputed light heavyweight champion, will make his first Octagon appearance in over three-years – most recently defeating Dominick Reyes in February 2020 to defend his 205lbs crown.

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Making his long-awaited heavyweight debut tomorrow night at the T-Mobile Arena in ‘Sin City’, Jones will take on former interim titleholder, Gane, who is fresh from a July knockout win over Tai Tuivasa.

Israel Adesanya picks Ciryl Gane to topple Jon Jones at UFC 285

Providing his thoughts on tonight’s vacant heavyweight title tilt between Jones and Gane, Adesanya believes that while Jones can mint himself as the champion, the French technician may just find his rhythm before the former and hand him his first legitimate professional loss.

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If you want to wake up for a guy in the morning, this is the guy,” Israel Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “Ciryl Gane. ‘Bon Gamin’, he’s game. This is a guy to wake up for.

I think ‘cause of activity, to be honest, and who he (Gane) is, I’m gonna go [with] Ciryl, but I won’t be surprised if ‘Bones’ (Jon Jones) wins.” 

Suffering a title unification loss to former division kingpin, Francis Ngannou back in January of last year, Gane suffered multiple takedowns against the Cameroonian, however, Adesanya believes Ngannou’s strength was the main reason for Gane’s poor wrestling defense.

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I can’t front, this is that fight,Israel Adesanya explained. “Jones out for three years, Gane’s been active he’s a ‘new’ breed of heavyweight. He’s light on his feet, very, very mixed striking, good grappling. People forget just cause Francis (Ngannou) took him down, but I think that’s the element of surprise as well. Francis is strong as f*ck and knows how to wrestle, so when Gane wasn’t expecting it, he thought he was gonna have to bang with Francis ‘cause that’s what Francsi is known for.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.