Morning Report: Israel Adesanya picking Ciryl Gane over Jon Jones: ‘This is a guy to wake up for’
Israel Adesanya’s pick is in for the big UFC 285 main event.
MMA’s arguably greatest fighter of all-time is finally back after a lengthy hiatus, making a long-awaited fight fan dream come true. Jon Jones will debut in the heavyweight division, attempting to capture vacant UFC gold tomorrow night opposite Ciryl Gane, and everyone’s questions surrounding “Bones” will be answered.
Jones departed the light heavyweight division after a close and hard-fought unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes in Feb. 2020. The win capped off a relatively lackluster string of performances for the legend compared to what fans grew accustomed to seeing. Jones has since alluded to having lost some motivation and “fear” as a dominant reigning champion, therefore, leading to his transition to a new weight class. For the former middleweight titleholder Adesanya, he feels all the factors around Jones will provide an uphill battle.
“If you want to wake up for a guy in the morning, this is the guy,” 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 is, I’m gonna go Ciryl, but I won’t be surprised if ‘Bones’ wins.”
Gane has also held UFC gold in his still-young 12-fight MMA career, capturing an interim crown in 2021. The Frenchman came up short in his undisputed bid vs. Francis Ngannou early last year, but started strong and had many believing he would cruise to a victory.
Unfortunately for Gane, Ngannou handed him his first and only loss via a unanimous decision. Gane has since rebounded with a wild third-round knockout of Tai Tuivasa this past September in his home country, displaying that he’s very much still a heavyweight to be reckoned with.
“I can’t front, this is that fight,” Adesanya said. “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 took him down, but I think that’s the element of surprise as well. Francis is strong as f*** 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 Francis is known for.
“Gane can grapple, man. The way he fights as a heavyweight, he’s so light. He does the oblique kick well, great footwork, good submissions so far. Real random ones, like a heel hook. Good leg kicks as well.”
While Adesanya and Jones have had some personal differences and back-and-forths on social media during Jones’ absence, “The Last Stylebender” still respects the abilities of the former light heavyweight king. Ultimately, Adesanya feels his fellow striking sensation, Gane, must be taken seriously.
“Jones’ wrestling, that’s his superpower, isn’t it?” Adesanya said. “And range control. The thing is three years, bro. Three years away from the game is a hard ask for any man just to be away from fighting for that long. There’s a few — special few — that can actually f*** off and come back and still look great, and I feel like Jon’s one of them.
“But again, when you talk about special few fighters, trust me, Ciryl’s one of those guys as well.”
Assessment. Jon Jones explains why he considers Ciryl Gane most incomplete heavyweight at top of division
Banter. Conor McGregor, Charles Oliveira trade shots after ex-champ backs Michael Chandler to win TUF fight
Redemption. Cody Garbrandt confesses his ‘life was in shambles’ before flyweight debut: ‘I wasn’t in a good place’
Surprise. Jon Jones fires back at critics after debuting new heavyweight physique: ‘Good thing it’s not a bodybuilding competition’
Content. Phil De Fries not eyeing UFC return with KSW success, targets ‘dream come true’ Alistair Overeem fight
Versions. Ciryl Gane’s head coach ‘expecting the Jon Jones we saw in the second fight’ with Daniel Cormier at UFC 285
???. Jon Anik reveals his burning question for Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut at UFC 285
Nope. Charles Oliveira will ‘never’ watch his loss to Islam Makhachev, demands title shot with UFC 288 win over Beneil Dariush
Between the Links.
UFC 285 Pre-fight press conference.
UFC 285 Presser staredowns.
Jones vs. Gane predictions.
Ciryl Gane’s greatest hits.
Farid Basharat – Next Level.
Jones vs. Nickal.
DC checks in with Bo Nickal.
Second check-in of the week drops in a few minutes I chat with @nobickal1. We haven’t seen a prospect like this in a while and he had a lot to say about his fight this weekend, to the middle weight division and how soon he can become champ. https://t.co/1E9jzgKDF1 pic.twitter.com/Cf1hwcfSsG
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) March 2, 2023
RIZIN Landmark 5 hype.
PFL Challenger Series week 6 weigh-in recap.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck counts down to UFC 285, reacts to Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez signing with BKFC.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Few more sleeps. pic.twitter.com/9xPWb1lFFI
— Tofiq Musayev (@Tofiq__Musayev) March 2, 2023
8 Year old … Vasilisa = RAW talent
Fighting out of: Leader Muay Thai Club pic.twitter.com/QgdYaDYhEN
— Mikey Thomas (@MikeyThomas1991) March 2, 2023
Update 5 months later: Best subscription I have to be honest. https://t.co/S9XRHt0fUB
— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) March 2, 2023
People were expecting Jon jones to take his shirt off and look like liver king? Lol relax he still gets the finish
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 2, 2023
Size only matters when skill level is equal or close to it. The skill level is not close. It’s not remotely comparable. The difference in technical ability will start to make itself very apparent midway through round 2. Jones by finish #UFC285
— Louis Smolka (@LouisSmolkaMMA) March 2, 2023
Light Heavyweight ➡️ Heavyweight@JonnyBones | #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/6q4IkhNOAU
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 2, 2023
An essay from DC.
This is an essay I did for the return of Jones, because love him or hate him. He is one of the best. Take a listen @espnmma pic.twitter.com/yt4mDzArmJ
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) March 2, 2023
Lmao I woke up to a ton of angry ass messages from the Mongolian fans… Guys, I am not Geoff Neal
Би Жефф Нил биш
Black history month has been over for 1 whole day and the internet is back to wildin’ out…
— Chris Curtis The Action Man (@Actionman513) March 2, 2023
Jon Jones headlines his 16th UFC PPV this weekend sending him into 3rd on the all time list. He has generated an astronomical amount of revenue for the promotion. One could only guess at the figure. pic.twitter.com/Lphwn3JpMY
— Andy Hickey MMA (@AndyHickeyMMA) March 2, 2023
Road to UFC.
Road to UFC updates:
– The two days of events are indeed May 26/27, but in Asia will be 27/28.
– No more 170 and 115lbs in the tournament, which was the original plan, but they’ll appear in non-tournament bouts.
– Currently women’s 125 is still the plan for tournament fights.
— Chris Presnell (@mmaecosystem) March 2, 2023
DC watching Jon Jones fight for the HW Belt like pic.twitter.com/7feP20PP3y
— Ben Davis (@BenTheBaneDavis) March 2, 2023
Get some fans, Jon.
Jon Jones stayed after the press conference to take pictures with the fans#UFC285 pic.twitter.com/MgQuDsB4wM
— MMA Mania (@mmamania) March 3, 2023
As the president of the bantamweight division I demand a contract signed by Aljo by the end of the week or I will strip him from his title and book myself a title fight.
— Sean O’Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) March 2, 2023
Luke Rockhold deez knucks
— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) March 2, 2023
The notorious Jiri.
Manuel Torres (13-2) vs. Trey Ogden (16-5); UFC San Antonio, March 25
Rani Yahya (28-10-1, 1 NC) vs. Montel Jackson (12-2); UFC Vegas 71, April 22
Rena Kubota (13-4) vs. Claire Lopez (7-4); RIZIN Landmark 5, April 30
Koji Takeda (15-4) vs. Luiz Gustavo (12-2); RIZIN Landmark 5, April 30
Johnny Case (22-6) vs. Ali Abdulkhalikov (11-2); RIZIN Landmark 5, April 30
Kazuma Kuramoto (10-3) vs. Shinobu Ota (2-2); RIZIN Landmark 5, April 30
Tsuyoshi Sudario (6-2) vs. Roque Martinez (16-8-2); RIZIN Landmark 5, April 30
Kanna Asakura (19-7) vs. Mei Yamaguchi (21-14-1); RIZIN Landmark 5, April 30
I have a feeling this fight will end up being much less competitive in either direction than I think we would hope for it to be. So many questions!
Happy Friday, gang. Enjoy the chaos of 285. Thanks for reading and thanks for the torch, Jed.
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