Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane go head-to-head in a fight for the vacant UFC heavyweight title this Saturday night… but what do the stats say about the two fighters? And what can either man do to secure the win?
- Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will face-off for a UFC title fight on Saturday night
- The highly-anticipated clash has had UFC fans eagerly awaiting the title bout
- Ahead of the fight, Sportsmail takes a look at the stats and form of both fighters
The wait is finally over! This weekend, Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will battle it out for the vacant UFC heavyweight title in a packed-out T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.
Expectations are high for UFC 285 as one of the sport’s greatest stars, Jones, takes on French fighter Gane, who’s stock has risen tremendously in the past two years.
Gane fell just short of the task to win a UFC title when he took on Francis Ngannou in 2022 but will be looking to take advantage of this second opportunity.
Jones, meanwhile, is known as a veteran in the sport but hasn’t stepped foot inside the octagon for three years – leaving some fans to speculate over his current ability.
And so, ahead of the fight, Sportsmail have taken a look at what each fighter needs to do on Saturday night in order to secure the victory and take home the gold belt.
Jon Jones (left) and Ciryl Gane (right) will go fight for the UFC’s vacant heavyweight title
Jones will make his first appearance inside the octagon since beating Dominick Reyes in 2020
What do both men need to do to win?
There’s no doubt that both camps will have drafted up a meticulous game plan for Saturday night, as they look to capitalise on their opponent’s respective weaknesses.
Jones has certainly made no secret of his recent studies into Gane’s bouts and even slammed the Frenchman for his performance against Francis Ngannou last year.
In that fight, Gane performed well in his striking but struggled to deal with Ngannou’s wrestling ability and eventually lost the bout by unanimous decision.
This could be the route that Jones opts to take, after he highlighted Gane’s weakness on the ground during a recent pre-fight press conference.
‘I’m a wrestler and it’s a different type of endurance,’ Jones said. ‘A lot of people don’t like having someone on top of them and making them earn their way back to their feet.’
Gane, on the other hand, will likely look to take advantage of the impressive striking ability that he’s previously showed and may aim to keep a high tempo to the fight.
The French heavyweight has previously been labelled as ‘the fastest heavyweight’ in the UFC and his pace could prove a problem for Jones – who’s not fought in three years.
And, in Jones’ last outing against Dominick Reyes in February 2020, the American looked off the pace with his striking and was knocked down within the opening two minutes into the fight.
Gane struggled with the wrestling ability of Francis Ngannou (top) in their fight last year
Jones confirmed recently that he’s identified Gane’s wrestling as a weakness to his game
What do the stats say?
Interestingly, Jones and Gane’s striking stats in the UFC are eerily similar and could lead to a thrilling contest on the feet on Saturday night.
According to official UFC statistics, the Frenchman actually has a higher strikes landed per minute rate, 5.11, compared to his American counterpart, 4.30.
Furthermore, Gane also has a better striking accuracy than the UFC veteran with his 59 per cent besting the 57 per cent strike rate set by Jones.
However, Jones’ defence statistics will give him confidence heading into a bout with Gane – who has a higher strikes absorbed per minute rate.
Gane has developed a reputation as one of the most lethal strikers in the heavyweight division
The American has also connected with 1,463 significant strikes during his career in the UFC, which is a light heavyweight record.
And, while there are similarities in the figures with their striking, the two fighters are a world apart in the wrestling department.
Jones has over double the takedown accuracy – 44 per cent compared to 21 per cent – of his counterpart and can nearly say the same about his takedown defense.
The American boasts a staggering takedown defense rate of 95 per cent compared to Gane who has just 55 per cent.
So, aside from the gameplans and statistics, what else is there to look out for in Saturday’s super-fight?
Well, we can expect to see a return of Jones’ iconic – and devastating – oblique kicks.
The move, which Jones has previously labelled as ‘push kicks to the knees’, has become a signature attack in the American’s arsenal and will likely be seen on Saturday.
Jones will likely utilise a number of different kicks in order to get the better of his opponent
It’s a move that’s legality has been debated, due to the serious injury it can cause, which Khalil Rountree proved by using it to TKO Modestas Bukauskas in 2021.
Gane, meanwhile, will be hoping to utilise his impressive speed and power to put a stop to one of the UFC’s greatest ever fighters.
And, though Jones has a far bigger physique than in previous fights, the natural size advantage for Gane may prove vital in stopping any takedowns from the American.
Jones had some issues in his takedown offense against Reyes, a light heavyweight, and could run into trouble when he tries to wrestle with, a much larger, Gane.
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