UFC 285 results, takeaways: Jon Jones secures his place in history, Alexa Grasso shocks the world
Saturday’s UFC 285 event was one that changes the future of the sport in more ways than the average UFC pay-per-view. And it’s debatable whether Jon Jones’ light dominance of Cyril Gein to become heavyweight champion, or Alexa Grasso’s shocking submission to longtime flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, was the moment that made the biggest difference.
Fans have been wondering about Jones’ heavyweight run for over a decade, and the moment finally arrived on Saturday when Jones took on the top-tier heavyweight at Gein. Jones’ greatness was on full display, taking just over two minutes to get Gein to clear the ball and win the second-weight title of his career.
Jones’ victory was a big change for the heavyweights and could have been a big profit for the entire UFC business, but Grasso’s snatching the title from Shevchenko was far more shocking. Shevchenko, in the midst of one of the greatest titles in UFC history, fell victim to Grasso’s ability to pounce on a single missed punch and force him to submit.
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But even those two weren’t the only impressive performances on Saturday night. Shavkat Rakhmonov kept doing Shavkat Rakhmonov’s stuff with Jeff Neal’s belated pitch. Mathues Gamroth has ruled Jalyn Turner at lightweight. And Bo Nickal made a very successful debut in the UFC, defeating Jamie Pickett in the first round to open the PPV.
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important takeaways from the wild fight card that was UFC 285.
Jones secures GOAT’s place
Much like the weight debate, discussions about the “greatest fighter of all time” in MMA are completely subjective and there is no way to convince anyone to agree with your opinion. However, Jones cemented his place as the MMA goat on Saturday night by not only moving up to heavyweight for good, but also making short work of Gein, a proven and capable top-tier heavyweight, with incredible ease.
Jones may have already claimed that status, with a resume littered with legends and elite light heavyweights, very few of which could get Jones into a competitive fight until he seemed to lose interest in competition at his best once he passed. circle. 205 lb field. We’ve all heard it for years, Jones’ biggest enemy is himself, as evidenced by his failed drug tests and run-ins with the law.
The long-awaited move up to heavyweight was not only just what Jones needed for his legacy, but exactly what Jones needed to ignite that old competitive fire.
While there has been a lot of talk about how formidable an opponent Gein was, the reality is that a properly motivated Jones will always be a nightmare for someone with Gein’s handicap in wrestling. However, there shouldn’t have been a fight. it’s simpleexcept that Jones this special.
Now that he’s a two-division champion, with an 18-fight winning streak at the sport’s top level, and his only career loss prompting a controversial suspension in 2009, it looks like the debate is over.
Jon Jones is the UFC heavyweight champion. Jon Jones is the greatest of all time.
The new horror of the heavy division 😤 #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/cFDbu7qftz
— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
Grasso scores last stunning title
The UFC women’s divisions tend to produce incredible, long-reigning champions. But mixed martial arts is a fickle sport with so many paths to victory that it’s almost a guarantee that even the greatest fighters will eventually be defeated. Feel free to add Alexa Grasso choke Valentina Shevchenko naked from behind to grab the women’s flyweight championship on a list of disappointments that include Holly Holm knocking out Ronda Rousey, Rose Namajunas knocking out Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Julianna Peña choking Amanda Nunes.
Grasso fought well in the first round, but Shevchenko seemed to have uploaded the necessary information to turn things around as the fight progressed. Shevchenko continued to use wrestling to distract Grasso from her favorite percussion instruments. But Grasso took the chance for a split second, grabbing onto Shevchenko’s back after the champion missed a roundhouse kick, and immediately brought the fight to the floor and locked in a choke hold, giving Shevchenko a nine-fight winning streak, including seven successful titles. protection.
Shevchenko will definitely be given an immediate rematch that will force Grasso to prove that the victory was not an accident. Of those previously discussed women who ended reigns as dominant champions, only Namajunas won her first title defense.
No one can ever take away that Grasso rocked the world and she can always claim UFC gold, but if she wants to create a bigger legacy, she has to go out and defeat one of the greatest champions in UFC history. all over again.
#ANDNEW WORLD CHAMPION IN THE FLYEST WEIGHT, @AlexaGrasso 👏👏 #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/Xtt2A8s0Zk
— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
Rakhmonov is being tested
The main card of the UFC 285 tournament opened with several fights, in which the advertised prospects got a chance to make themselves known on the big stage. Shavkat Rakhmonov was among these men, and he showed the qualities that so many MMA fans worried about his future in the octagon. his submission victory over Jeff Neal.
To be clear, the fight was not easy for Rakhmonov. Neil was fully prepared for an exchange of blows, during which both fighters landed accurate and heavy punches. In the third round, Neal even seemed to hurt Rakhmonov badly with the combo, forcing Rakhmonov to switch into grappler mode and pin Neil against the cage until the opportunity to lock in a standing bulldog choke ended the fight.
These are the fights that you hope to see a potential client through. You want a promising fighter to push a little and have to respond to moments of adversity. And as fans want to see, a fighter needs to know what he’s capable of at times like these. Now Rakhmonov has been tested and proven that when things get tough, he can find a way to fix the situation and end the fight.
Rakhmonov is now 17-0, all 17 victories are early. He claims he’s now ready to hit the title roster by challenging Colby Covington to the No. 1 contender. The Covington fight is a much tougher test, but it’s better to see Rakhmonov move quickly up the ranks than be stuck for years fighting mediocre competitors.
SHAVKAT THIS IS THE REAL BUSINESS! 🤯@Rakhmonov1994 remains undefeated in #UFC285!! pic.twitter.com/Dr1jVTZDkE
— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
Successful but dubious UFC debut for Nikal
Very few fighters have made their UFC debuts with more hype than Bo Nickal. The award-winning amateur wrestler had a brilliant first three professional fights, two of which were in Dana White’s Contender Series, and both some fans and Nickal himself claimed that the 27-year-old fighter was already capable of fighting for a world title.
The hype around Nikal’s debut was so great that some major American bookies were offering lines of as little as +175 that Nikal would beat Jamie Pickett in the first minute of the fight. In fairness, it should be noted that even before the first minute was up, Nikal was already catching himself to end the fight with a submission. This finish came at 2:54 of the first round when Nikal was able to force the crane to the suffocating triangle.
The controversy was enough to slightly obscure the brilliance of Nikal’s victory, with a clear low blow that resulted in a takedown unnoticed by the referee. Given how important the takedown was to Nikal’s game plan, it’s understandable that Pickett’s manager reportedly planning appeal the defeat on the grounds that the foul changed the course of the fight.
However, it’s hard to imagine the fight being canceled and the rematch with Pickett a waste of everyone’s time. As unfair as this is, we hope both men just move on to the next step in their careers.