Jon Jones submits Ciryl Gane to win UFC heavyweight title

LAS VEGAS — In blended martial arts, there was Jon Jones after which everybody else for greater than a decade. After a transfer up in weight and three years away, completely nothing has modified.

Jones defeated Ciryl Gane with a guillotine choke at 2 minutes, 4 seconds of the primary spherical Saturday night time in the principle occasion of UFC 285 at T-Mobile Arena. Jones is now the UFC heavyweight champion after proudly owning the sunshine heavyweight division for years. He already was considered the best MMA fighter, and this victory left zero debate.

“I’ve been working for this for a long time,” Jones stated in his postfight interview. “A lot of people thought I wasn’t coming back. I’ve been faithful to my goal. I’ve been faithful to the mission. There were days I didn’t want to train, and I was always there.”

Frankly, Jones made the entire thing look simple. He took Gane down, bought him in a seated place in opposition to the cage and locked within the choke. It was unorthodox; Gane appeared secure. But Jones placed on the squeeze, and Gane needed to faucet.

The submission was the third quickest in a UFC heavyweight title bout. Andrei Arlovski submitted Tim Sylvia in 47 seconds at UFC 51, and Frank Mir submitted Sylvia in 50 seconds at UFC 48.

“I’ve been wrestling since I was 12 years old,” Jones stated. “I feel stronger and more comfortable on the ground than ever. … Once I got my hands on him, I knew that’s where I’m most comfortable and I can take control.”

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Jones had not fought since February 2020. He relinquished the sunshine heavyweight belt in August 2020, prepping for a transfer as much as heavyweight. Jones needed time to maneuver up the best method — and he bought it. He packed on greater than 25 kilos of muscle, weighing in at 248 kilos Friday after being a 205-pound fighter his entire profession.

UFC president Dana White stated Jones went into the Octagon and handled Gane “like he was just a little kid.”

“I’m a big believer in ring rust,” White stated. “We didn’t get to see any ring rust. Who knows if there was ring rust? He just went in there, and it was nothing, like the easiest thing in the world to do. He’s a freak of nature.”

Jones had talked about transferring as much as heavyweight going again to 2012. He has by no means actually misplaced within the cage, along with his lone defeat coming in a controversial disqualification in a bout that he was dominating. Jones is now the third fighter to win UFC titles at heavyweight and lightweight heavyweight, becoming a member of Randy Couture and Daniel Cormier, and the eighth fighter to win titles in two divisions.

The UFC heavyweight title was vacated by former champion Francis Ngannou, who left UFC as a free agent earlier this yr.

Jones’ win units up a bout with Stipe Miocic, probably the most profitable heavyweight fighter in UFC historical past and a former two-time champion.

“Y’all want to see me beat up Stipe?” Jones stated in his Octagon interview. “One thing I know about the UFC is we give the fans what they want to see. Stipe Miocic, I hope you’re training, my guy. You’re the greatest heavyweight of all time. That’s what I want. I want you real bad.”

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Jones (27-1, 1 NC) owns UFC information for longest unbeaten streak (19), victories in title fights (15) and title defenses (11, tied with Demetrious Johnson). The New York native, who lives and trains in Albuquerque, New Mexico, recorded a win over Dominick Reyes in his final battle in protection of the 205-pound title.

Jones, 35, was additionally the youngest fighter to win a UFC title at 23 in 2011.

This was Jones’ first end since 2018 and first submission victory since 2012.

“I’ve been familiar with high praises for a while now,” Jones stated. “I’m very aware that pride comes before the fall. … I know that grounding myself is going to be more important than ever.”

Gane (11-2), 32, was coming off a third-round knockout of Tai Tuivasa in September. The solely different lack of his MMA profession got here in a unanimous choice defeat to Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight title in January 2022 at UFC 270.

The French fighter stated he was “angry” with himself for this defeat.

“This one is so painful,” Gane stated. “This one is a real loss. Now, it’s the past. I must go forward to see the future. And I’ll go straight back to the gym.”