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This Saturday night, UFC 285 is headlined by the return of Jon Jones as he fights for the heavyweight title against Cyril Gane. Here is a creative way to consider playing three of the fights.

Cody Garbrandt vs Trevin Jones

At one time, Cody Garbrandt wrapped the Bantamweight belt around his waist, but recently he's fallen victim to a string of knockouts that have people wondering if he has any chin left. He faces off against Trevin Jones, a fighter who has shown some power since entering the UFC, but not much else. Here's how I'm playing this fight.

0.5 Unit Trevin Jones by KO (+325) BetMGM

It is very possible that one clean shot from Jones to the chin of Garbrandt finishes the fight. I see the KO as Jones' primary, and maybe only, path to victory.

1.68 Units Cody Garbrandt Decision Only (Finish No Action) DraftKings

Cody could finish this fight, but if it goes to a decision he has a massive advantage. Jones is known for being low volume while Garbrandt tends to be higher volume and has the wrestling advantage.

Possible Outcomes

  • Trevin Jones wins by KO, +1.625U

  • Garbrandt wins by Decision, +0.5U

  • Garbrandt wins by Finish, -0.5U

  • Jones wins by Decision, -2.125U

Alexa Grasso vs Valentina Shevchenko

The women's flyweight GOAT will be defending her title for the 8th time when she steps in the octagon against Mexico's Alexa Grasso. The line is wide on this one, Shevchenko is a -800 favorite, so you either have to play Grasso or get creative. We're going to get creative.

0.25 Unit Shevchenko Round 2 (+500) FanDuel

0.25 Unit Shevchenko Round 3 (+1000) FanDuel

0.25Unit Shevchenko Round 4 (+1200) FanDuel

Shevchenko looked human in her last fight against Taila Santos. Many people thought she lost. At the very least it was incredibly close. So is she falling off a cliff? I'm going to bet it hasn't happened yet, even though she's getting older. Grasso is a good boxer, but her all-around MMA game is not as developed as Santos'. I like Shevchenko to get Grasso to the mat and finish her in round 2, 3, or 4.

1 Unit o3.5 Rounds (+100) FanDuel

This is a hedge in case Valentina can't get the finish or can't get it early. The primary danger here is that Shevchenko gets it done in round 1, but in a 5-round women's fight that's a chance I'm willing to take. This creates a small opportunity to win two bets--if Valentina can get the finish in the second half of round 4.

Possible Outcomes

There are too many to go over them all, but here are some of the key ones--both good and bad.

  • Valentina Round 2, -0.25U

  • Valentina Round 3, +1U

  • Valentina 1st half of Round 4, +1.5U

  • Valentina 2nd half of Round 4, +3.5U

  • Round 5 or Decision, -0.5U

  • Grasso and Over 3.5 Rounds, -0.5U

  • Grasso and Under 3.5 Rounds, -1.75U

Cyril Gane vs Jon Jones

Last is the main event, where Jon Jones will make his long-awaited return and move up to heavyweight. He'll face the almost champion, Cyril Gane. Here's a creative way to play this one.

0.5 Unit Under 4.5 Rounds (+124) FanDuel

Many people have pointed out that this could be a slow, low-volume fight, and that is possible. However, there is certainly a path for either of these fighters to finish, and they have 5 rounds to do it. While Gane showed a sufficient ground game at times vs Ngannou, he did end up beaten on the ground by a fighter not known for his ground game. If Jones is up to form he could drag him to the ground and unleash his formerly famous ground and pound. Gane stays to the outside, but if he is able to hurt Jones (including with leg kicks) he could flurry and could get the KO.

0.5 Unit Gane (+145) BetMGM

I like Gane to get the win here. It's been three years since Jones fought, he's much older, and he didn't look great before the break. I think the game may have passed him by (at least at a championship level), but we'll see.

Possible Outcomes

  • Gane Under 4.5 Rounds, +1.345U

  • Gane Over 4.5 Rounds, +0.225U

  • Jones Under 4.5 Rounds, +0.12U

  • Jones Over 4.5 Rounds, -1U

Best of luck on all your UFC 285 wagers!

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