UFC 285 had high expectations from the minute it was announced, and it completely lived up to and surpassed those expectations. From all-out wars, to complete and utter domination, UFC 285 saw it all, and today, we will look at the best moments from the night.
The night started with a great fight with Loik Radzhabov and Esteban Ribovic going at it. Ribovic was able to hurt Radzhabov multiple times during the fight, but Radzhabov was able to fire back and do lots of damage himself, with his takedowns being what was able to give Radzhabov the unanimous decision win in a hard-fought scrap. Cameron Saaiman and Mana Martinez also put on a good fight in which Saimman was able to battle through a point deduction from kicking Martinez in the groin twice during the fight. But Saaiman did not allow that to mentally affect him, and he knocked down Martinez in the second round and thoroughly dominated the fight in a great performance to make the 22-year-old prospect 8-0. Ian Garry and Kenan Song saw Garry fight through adversity after a slight mistake led to him getting knocked down in the first. Garry, other than that one slip-up, was almost perfect, barely getting touched by Song and picking up his second UFC knockout late in the third round, becoming 11-0 in the process.
The prelims would see an all-out war between middleweight contenders Dricus Du Plessis and Derek Brunson. Brunson would win the first round, visibly hurting Du Plessis multiple times and using his wrestling to his advantage. Du Plessis came out with a fire in the second, however, and, late in the round, was able to knock down a tired and damaged Brunson. Brunson would get hit with vicious ground and pound, and his corner would throw the towel in with a second left in the round. This gave Du Plessis a win that now definitely puts him in the title discussion and in line for a big matchup, while Brunson at 39 years old may see retirement looming in his future. Cody Garbrandt also made his return to the octagon in a fight he needed to win in order to get his career back on track. Cody easily beat Trevin Jones in the first two rounds before he let off the gas in the final round and allowed Jones to have some moments. But almost all UFC fans were happy to see Cody finally get back on track with a win, even if the performance wasn’t up to many’s expectations.
A quick recap of the main card saw some very exciting stories and matchups before the main event. Bo Nickal opened it up with an expected first-round submission over Jamie Pickett in his much anticipated UFC debut. Mateusz Gamrot and Jalin Turner had a highly competitive fight in which Gamrot picked up a close split decision. Shavkat Rakhmonov and Geoff Neal had the fight of the night in an absolutely fantastic battle that saw Neal outperform expectations. However, Shavkat continued his 17-fight undefeated and finishing streak, getting a standing choke with less than a minute left in the final round. In the co-main event, Alexa Grasso shocked the world by beating dominant champ Valentina Shevchenko by submission in the fourth round, giving Valentina her first-ever loss in the flyweight division and ending her title reign for the time being. In the main event, Jon “Bones” Jones would make his much-anticipated return against who many thoughts was the best heavyweight in the world, Ciryl Gane. There was one word to describe this fight, domination. Jones took down Gane, slipping a shot, and from there, would work Gane to the fence and get a submission in a little over two minutes’ time. This would mark the quickest win of Jones career and cement himself as the greatest UFC fighter of all time in a remarkable performance almost nobody saw coming.