UFC 285: Jon Jones Opens as a Betting Underdog For the Third Time in His UFC Career

Jon Jones opened as a rare betting underdog, doing so for only the third time in his UFC career

Jon Jones
Courtesy of @BloodyElbow on Twitter

Jon Jones has opened as the betting underdog for the first time in more than a decade.

UFC president Dana White revealed that Jon Jones’ long-awaited return to the Octagon will finally happen on March 4. ‘Bones’ will main event the card alongside No. 1 ranked heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane to crown a new UFC heavyweight champion following the announcement that former titleholder Francis Ngannou had been stripped of the crown. 

Jones Opens As An Underdog Against Ciryl Gane for UFC 285 Title Fight

Though the odds were fairly close, Jones opened as a +100 underdog versus Gane who opened as the -120 favorite according to the website BestFightOdds.com. This would mean that a $100 bet on Jon Jones would return a profit of $100. To get that same return on Gane, one would have to wager $120. As of this writing, the odds have seen some movement with both fighters now sitting at -110, essentially making the fight a pick’em. As we get closer to the March showdown, the odds are expected to move most likely in Jones’ favor.

Still, it’s a rather unfamiliar spot for Jones who has only opened as the underdog three times in 23 total fights under the UFC banner and for the first time in nearly 15 years. The other two instances were in Jones’ first two bouts with the promotion against André Gusmão at UFC 87 and the late Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94. 

The rare underdog status is understandably due to Jon Jones’ long absence from the Octagon. By the time he makes the walk in March, it will be the first time in over three years. Not to mention ‘Bones’ will be competing in a brand-new division for the first time against the No. 1 ranked contender and former title challenger. With those factors, are sportsbooks right to list Jones as the underdog, even slightly? Or are they all simply forgetting how truly great ‘Bones’ is inside the Octagon? 

Published on January 16, 2023 at 2:37 pm
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