There is one key selling point to this Saturday’s UFC 285: Jon Jones.
That’s not to say the card is thin (it isn’t) or that there aren’t other interesting storylines attached to the event (there are plenty). Still, after three years, the fighter many consider the greatest of all time makes his long awaited return.
That’s a very good reason to tune in.
More importantly, he makes the jump to heavyweight, something fight fans have been anticipating since well before Jones took a sabbatical from the sport.
Three years is a long time for anyone to be gone from mixed martial arts, and Jones is attempting to do something few have ever done before. In reality, Georges St-Pierre drew up the blueprint for what Jones is now attempting to accomplish, when he returned to the cage at UFC 217 in 2017, moving to middleweight to dethrone Michael Bisping. The welterweight great, gone for years following his fight with Johny Hendricks, solidified his place as an all-time great that night.
It’s fitting that Jones, the man most often compared to GSP in the GOAT debate, now attempts to follow in his footsteps. If successful, he may very well finally settle the matter once and for all — until the next GOAT candidate comes along, anyway.
The debut of Bo Nickals, the return of Valentina Shevchenko, off one of her most difficult title defenses to date, an attempt at redemption for Cody Garbrandt — there are plenty of other reasons to watch UFC 285.
But if you had to pick just one? It’s Jon Jones.
Jones and the other big names from this Saturday’s card will be on hand for Thursday’s UFC 285 pre-fight press conference. A live stream is available above.