Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of UFC 285.
Jon Jones, who many consider one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time, will make his long awaited return against Cyril Gane for the vacant heavyweight title, after Francis Ngannou left UFC.
Watch UFC 285: Jones v Gane LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday March 5 from 2pm AEDT. ORDER NOW >
Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, hasn’t fought since February 2020 and has packed on the weight for his return to the octagon in the heaviest class UFC has to offer.
The 35-year-old (20-1-0) has never lost a UFC fight and can cement his status as the greatest UFC fighter of all time he can beat Gane.
The main card is just getting underway, so Jones and Gane can be expected to enter the octagon later this afternoon around 4pm (AEDT). Follow below for live updates.
3.45pm – Welterweight chokes his way to victory
UFC’s welterweight division has been put on notice after Shavkat Rakhmonov claimed a scary victory over Geoff Neal.
The pair fought out a war and both absorbed heavy blows, before Rakhmonov got Neal in a rare standing choke in the third round and his opponent had no choice but to tap out.
It was a brutal way to claim victory and Rakhmonov now has 17 finishes from 17 fights, with no losses.
The No. 9 ranked welterweight said he’s now ready for a title fight, or at least take on Colby Covington.
3pm – Joe Rogan wowed by UFC debut
It seems Bo Nickal is the real deal after the former wrestler defeated Jamie Pickett in his UFC debut.
Nickal secured a first round win via submission as Pickett was forced to tap out of an arm-triangle choke.
Joe Rogan declared in commentary: “The hype is real.”
“Here is the problem with this much hype. When you have such a spectacular debut on pay-per-view, your next fights are in the deep end of the pool and with very little MMA experience.”
It moves Nickal’s MMA record to 4-0 and he couldn’t mave had a more interesting UFC debut.
2pm – Gyllenhaal stuns UFC world again
Jake Gyllenhaal has stunned the UFC world for the second time in as many days with a brutal ‘knockout’ win at UFC 285.
The Hollywood actor turned heads on Saturday when he appeared at the weigh in, where he was filming a scene for the remake of the cult classic film Road House.
But the 2023 version is set to reimagine the story with a former UFC fighter, played by Gyllenhaal, taking the main role in the film. And the UFC wanted in on the action.
Gyllenhaal, who plays Elwood Dalton, left fans stunned as the Hollywood star weighed in for the fictional middleweight title bout against champion Jax Harris, cutting an absolutely shredded figure.
And the 42-year-old wowed MMA fans once again when he stepped in the octagon at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Sunday (AEDT) to film another scene.
A pumped-up Gyllenhall was seen doing a full walkout to the ring, before he proceeded to secure a vicious knockout win over his opponent.
He was taking on Jay Hieron, who is playing Harris in the fictional middleweight bout.
Gyllenhaal won the faux fight, absorbing a couple of blows before launching into Hieron with an uppercut and a flying knee kick.
He even finished the job with extra punches, pushing away the referee who tried to step in to stop the fight.
12.45pm – McGregor, Drake curse to strike Jones?
UFC fans are concerned Jon Jones could fall victim to so-called curses from Conor McGregor and Drake.
Jones is contesting his first fight in three years and some supporters are worried the legend might suffer an injury in his return to the octagon.
Superstitious fans have pointed out UFC legends Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva and McGregor all suffered horrific leg breaks in the latter stages of their careers.
McGregor hasn’t fought since breaking his leg against Dustin Poirier in 2021.
The Irishman caught up with Jones at the pre-fight weigh-in, prompting some fans to wonder if McGregor might have cursed Jones against Gane, who is a leg-kick-heavy fighter.
One fan said: “Don’t jinx Jones.”
A second commented: “Jones’ return fight will end the same way.”
Another chimed in: “I hope not but if Jon jones breaks his legs, that would be f***in’ insane.”
And in another bad sign for Jones, rapper Drake has bet A$369,000 on Jones to win via submission and another $369,000 for Jones to knock Gane out.
If his bet gets up, Draker will pocket $2.5m if Jones wins via submission or $1.9m in a knockout victory.
Here’s hoping the Drake curse doesn’t strike again.
Drake is renowned for wagering huge amounts of money on sporting events but losing his bets, most recently when Jake Paul lost his boxing fight to Tommy Fury.
UFC 285 Main Fight Card
Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane – heavyweight
Valentina Shevchenko vs Alexa Grasso – flyweight
Shavkat Rakhmonov def Geoff Neal via submission (R3 standing rear naked choke)
Mateusz Gamrot def Jalin Turner via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
Bo Nickal def Jamie Pickett via submission (R1)
Cody Garbrandt def. Trevin Jones via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Dricus Du Plessis def. Derek Brunson via second-round TKO (4:59) | Watch finish
Amanda Ribas def. Viviane Araujo via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Marc-Andre Barriault def. Julian Marquez via second-round TKO (4:12)
Ian Machado Garry def. Song Kenan via third-round TKO (4:22) | Watch finish
Cameron Saaiman def. Leomana Martinez via majority decision (29-26, 28-27, 28-28)
Tabatha Ricci def. Jessica Penne via sub (armbar) (R2, 2:14)
Farid Basharat def. Da’Mon Blackshear via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Loik Radzhabov def. Esteban Ribovics via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)