With the announcement of the potential match-up between the UFC legend Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane, the UFC heavyweight division’s future looks brighter now.
The bout will be headlining the main event UFC 285 which will take place on March 4, 2023, at the T-Mobile Arena facility in Paradise, Nevada, Las Vegas. The showdown will be for the heavyweight title which got vacated as Francis Ngannou was released by UFC. Dana White revealed that the promotion will be terminating The Predator’s contract despite one fight left in his contract.
Now that everything is making its path, the gloomy clouds are still over UFC heavyweight prospect Curtis Blaydes. He has been on the list of fighters who were likely to face Jon Jones in his comeback. Curtis Blaydes has stated that he understands why the UFC has booked the Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane fight, but he also acknowledges that the match-up is not based solely on meritocracy. He likely means that Jones and Gane were chosen to fight each other based on factors other than their current rankings or recent performance in the octagon.
“Obviously I’ve seen the news, Gane is getting another title shot vs. Jones,” Blaydes wrote on Facebook. “Most likely I’ll be getting the Pavolich who just beat Tuivasa. That’s cool with me, I get why Gane got the shot and it wasn’t based off meritocracy and that’s not a news flash, the UFC is always gonna to match make based off who puts the most asses in the stands and eyes on the fight. I hope I’ll only need one more win to prove I can put asses in the stands and get a title shot.”
Several factors likely led to the booking of the Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane fight. Some of these include:
Jon Jones is a former champion and one of the biggest stars in the sport, so the UFC likely wants to keep him active and in high-profile matchups.
Jones and Gane have different fighting styles which can make this fight an exciting one.
Promotional aspect and the fans' demand for this match up.
There is nothing new when it comes to the announcement of such a match-up. UFC has been a business-oriented promotion and knows how to attract money. A clear example is the clash of Petr Yan vs Sean O’Malley even though there was a big difference between their rankings. But the fan favorite Suga generated good numbers.
After receiving criticism from UFC President Dana White for failing to support his comments against fighter compensation and the UFC's business operations with aggressive performances that would win him fans, Blaydes decided to make the shift. White lauded the heavyweight's abilities but asserted that he was performing incorrectly and needed to keep occupied.
Blaydes, 31, has won seven of his last eight fights and three in a row. He hasn't participated in the competition since defeating Tom Aspinall in July through TKO as a consequence of an injury.
Blaydes currently ranks #4 in the division. He stated that because the Jones bout was not on the board, his next opponent, if not Pavlovich, would have to be a higher-ranked opponent.
“Long as my next opponent is ranked higher than me (which somehow Pavlovich is now) I’m down to fight,” Blaydes wrote on Instagram.