In his heavyweight debut, Jon Jones (27-1) submitted Ciryl Gane (11-2) to claim the vacant heavyweight championship in the main event of UFC 285.
Despite Gane accidentally kicking Jones below the belt to start the fight, Jones managed to control the middle of the Octagon to open the bout, walking Gane backwards before ultimately taking him to the ground. Jones sat Gane down early, then attacked a guillotine and submitted him quickly.
Saturday marked Jones’ return to the UFC and his first bout in the heavyweight division. He hadn’t fought since 2020, earning a decision victory over Dominick Reyes while maintaining his dominance over the light heavyweight division. Jones is arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history, but his background is riddled in controversy amid two victories over another greatest of all-time contender, Daniel Cormier.
Gane, a former interim heavyweight champion, lost his lone title fight in a decision loss to Francis Ngannou in January 2022. He was able to get back on track before his showdown with Jones, knocking out Tui Tuivasa in September last year.
Jones claims the heavyweight crown after Ngannou vacated the belt earlier this year when he was released from his contract. With the win, Jones will likely go on to face off against former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, who hasn’t fought since he was knocked out by Ngannou in 2021.