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UFC 285: Jones vs Gane - Mar 4 🇺🇸


wandshogun09

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As much as I hate to defend him, I think I have to here (purely on the sporting side of things). Firstly, anyone with half a brain wouldnt put a Gane win in the same bracket as Serra/GSP. Secondly, I think people are being way too harsh on Bones' last few fights. Its easy to look back at those last three fights with 2023 eyes, and almost discount them because of how the fighters have fared since. Particularly in the case of Santos. The hype, and even the aura, behind Santos for this fight was insane. To a lesser extent, even Reyes had a fair bit of buzz behind him at the time. Despite whats happened since, they were, at the time, seen as legit threats. Another big thing that I dont think is factored in is that for their fights, the three 'new school' challangers were Rocky in film 1. It was their moment of a lifetime, and the one fight that their whole career was building to. You can bet that they put absolutley everything into this one fight. The way they have declined since, its almost as is they sacrificed everything just for winning their shot. For Jones, its not BS at all to believe that he wasnt that hyped to fight any of them.

Despite what hes like outside the cage, when it comes to inside the cage, hes easily either the best or second best (behind GSP) to ever do it in the UFC. To be that great is not just a physical thing, its a mental thing too. Despite all the talk of size and being past his prime, he still has the mindframe that made him this good, which I think is a huge factor that shouldnt be overlooked.

Physically, hes only 35 years old, and has had four fights in the last five years. Ive just browsed his fight record, and you can count on one hand the amount of 'wars' hes had in his entire career. Talk about being over the hill just doesnt ring true to me. In this day and age, theres no reason to believe that hes not somewhere near his physical prime. I do believe it was motivation and burnout that made him perform the way he did in his last few fights (fights he still won). I dont think I could bet against one of the GOAT, where theyre not going to be at a phyiscal disadvantage, and where theres a cast iron plan for a victory. That said, Jones as a 4/7 favourate doesnt appeal to me either. I think 7/5 seems about right too for Gane to win too.

Edit: Three episodes into the countdown show. What percentage of people who watch a Jones/Gane Countdown show want to see anything that Geoff Neal is doing? 2%?

Edited by Dai
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The three years Jones has spent out of the sport has helped to build his reputation again, because it was rightly questioned after the Reyes fight. But in the time he's been gone his reputation seems to have grown once again to the extent that some people on socials etc seem to believe that we're going to get 2011 Jon Jones who is fresh off beating Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida.

It's going to be an interesting fight to watch, and I could be very wrong, but I don't think Jones looks great physically at heavyweight. When @Daimentioned them keeping him in a swimming pool and with a hoodie on to preserve the mystique over his weight, I don't think this is what we had in mind...

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I'm sorry, but he just looks like a dude who's stopped working out as much as he used to. All the talk of him wanting time to ease into heavyweight so he could put the weight on properly had me thinking he'd come in looking in-shape. 

Then again, we could all be wrong and he's still the best in the world. But the signs for me are that this isn't the case. I have a feeling we could be reading headlines about Jones "fall from grace" next week once Gane makes relatively short work of him. 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Dai said:

Its easy to look back at those last three fights with 2023 eyes, and almost discount them because of how the fighters have fared since. Particularly in the case of Santos. The hype, and even the aura, behind Santos for this fight was insane. To a lesser extent, even Reyes had a fair bit of buzz behind him at the time. Despite whats happened since, they were, at the time, seen as legit threats.

I get what you’re saying about hindsight. It plays its part and I’ve said similar myself about people judging fighters careers based on how their opponents looked later, often after a decline, rather than how they looked at the time of the fight. A lot of people do that and knock points off unfairly. But…I was as balls deep in MMA as anyone back in 2019-2020 when those Santos and Reyes fights happened and I honestly don’t recall this “insane” hype and aura around Santos. Or even a great deal of buzz around Reyes.

Santos was already 35 going in, was on a decent little win streak but only really had the one proper standout win, his knockout against Jan Blachowicz which earned him the shot at Jones. Granted, that was a legit win. Jan wasn’t seen as a title mix player himself back then but I thought he’d probably beat Santos, it turned out to be one of Santos’ all around best performances. Aside from that, as exciting as the Jimi Manuwa slobberknocker was, Manuwa wasn’t that great a win. And Santos had a bunch of losses at 185 before that. And we didn’t even know about the fact that his knees were knackered either! I honestly don’t remember many, if anyone, giving Santos much of a shot at beating Jones, which is why it was such a shock how close the fight was on the night. He was dangerous but really no more than guys Jones had already pissed through. A ‘punchers chance’ thing is how I think most saw it and nothing more. I even looked back at the thread on here because I thought I might be misremembering it but nobody voted Santos in the poll and I didn’t see anyone giving him much hope. The talk, as usual, mostly centred around Jones and how he might manage to fuck up this time.

As for Reyes, the intrigue there was that he was the first of the ‘new breed’ of 205ers coming through to get a crack at Jones. And he was also comparable in size. Given the problems the last similarly sized challenger Gustafsson was able to give Jones in their first fight, I do remember some talk that maybe Reyes could have a bit of success there too. But again, I don’t recall people actually predicting he’d win. And again, I looked back at the thread for that event and nobody voted for Reyes in the poll, although there did seem to be a few giving him a better chance than Santos. But maybe that was because Santos made him look more human. Reyes was a welcome fresh challenger and was a big 205er but seen as nothing more than a relatively unproven prospect at the time. He was unbeaten but his most notable wins were Jared Cannonier (but 205 Cannonier who wasn’t anywhere near the fighter he later became at 185), Ovince Saint Preux (who wasn’t shot like he is now but was never anything special, a so-so win), Volkan Oezdemir on points (in a fight many felt Oezdemir won) and Chris Weidman (a Middleweight coming up to 205 who was in rough form even back then). Don’t get me wrong, he deserved a shot at Jones because there was nobody else really left at that time. But I don’t think many fancied his chances at all or saw him as a huge threat.

All that said, I won’t be shocked if Jones wins on Saturday night. He’s not a stupid fighter and I don’t think he’d have came back if he didn’t think he could succeed at Heavyweight, or against Ciryl Gane in particular. But I’m far from convinced that we’re gonna be getting anything close to prime Jon Jones here. It’s easy to point to his age, and 35 isn’t old by Heavyweight standards. But prime isn’t always about age. Some fighters peak early like Mike Tyson, some are late bloomers like Bernard Hopkins, and there’s probably a hundred more examples in between those extremes. Jon Jones was very fucking good from very young. He was wrecking UFC world champions and legends in his early 20s. It’s very rare, pretty much unheard of actually, for a fighter’s prime to last a full decade and certainly not more than that. Then you factor in what he’s done in that time outside the cage. Yeah he hasn’t been in a bunch of wars, that we’ve seen anyway. A lot of fans forget but we only see the end result of a training camp. We only see the rounds fought on Fight Night under the bright lights. You have to factor in all the sparring and all the wear and tear these guys accrue in training camps as well. Then his lifestyle. I’d maybe understand people having confidence if this was a GSP or Mighty Mouse type who by all accounts live clean and stay in the gym regardless of whether they have a fight booked or not. Constantly staying in shape, sharpening their skills and eating healthily. Who the fuck knows what Jones has been doing the past 3 years but I doubt it was all gym, salads and 8 hours kip a night. He’s a wild cunt. It’s part of what’s made him an attraction but there’s no way that doesn’t knock some time off your physical prime.

And on top of all that, he’s going up in weight, after a massive layoff and is up against probably the only current active Heavyweight who isn’t just gonna stand flat footed and swing like a caveman. The grappling is gonna be where Jones should still have a significant advantage. Gane’s still learning and Jones is way ahead. But even then, a lot of Jones’ grappling starts from clinch positions and that’s where Gane’s size might be an issue and make up for his relative lack of grappling experience.

We’ll see. Hopefully. If Jones behaves himself the next couple of days anyway. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Listening to Jones' media day interview, he seems fairly convinced that if he scores a takendown early and makes Gane work this is going to be an easy nights work for him. 

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He's definitely coming across as confident. The smarmy prick. Whereas Gane is coming across like he's here for a bit of fun. The editing isn't giving making Gane look dangerous. I want him to win. Unfortunately he's coming across as a bit too cuddly. Physically he looks incredible. A bit like a Rally car that's about to tear up a stage.

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Posted (edited)

One thing to also keep in mind about Jones is that he still has that fucking reach, and knows how to use it to full effect. I don't think I've yet seen a fighter whose reach surpasses his; I checked Gane's Wiki, and even he loses out to Jones on that score.

Not saying it's the only reason he wins, but it has been a hell of a difference maker so many times.

Edited by Carbomb
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@BigJagI think that’s just the way Gane is. He never tries to intimidate or go around with a forced mean mug. He genuinely seems to enjoy the whole process of it and always seems to be having fun. He’s like a big massive GSP from the bits I’ve seen. There’s something very innocent about him 😂 MMA being what it is, no doubt we’ll find out he’s been boiling puppies on the weekends now I’ve said that. But so far, he seems a top lad. 

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Really looking forward to this now. So many good points made about Jones, going to be really interesting to see which version we get. Either way, hope Gane smashes him. 
 

It’s obviously been over shadowed by the return of Jones but it’s going to be interesting to see what Shevchenko looks like. She didn’t look her best in the last fight. Was it a bad night at the office, is she on the decline, was Santos having a great night or a mix of the 3. 
 

Have no plans this weekend so might get a few tins and snacks and stay up to watch this (will inevitably end up falling asleep on the sofa at 11pm and sleeping through it all). 

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1 hour ago, Bruce85 said:

will inevitably end up falling asleep on the sofa at 11pm and sleeping through it all

 

1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

my days of powering through are long gone

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On 3/2/2023 at 12:00 AM, wandshogun09 said:

Heavyweight ‘Bones’. 

A7BA5B92-E11D-4252-A51A-A678A0A4FB6E.jpeg

Awesome pic. Great size. Look thick. Solid. Not that tight. Keep us all posted on how this fight goes. Show us what you got Jon.

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