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Midnight Mania! Jon Jones analyzes Ciryl Gane, identifies two ‘big holes’ in his game

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Jon Jones has proven himself one of the most effective strategists in MMA history. While Jones undoubtedly has immense physical gifts and a deep technical game, his ability to put it all together and adapt his skill set to various opponents at the championship level is really what has elevated “Bones” to greatness.

He’s an athlete that takes strategy and preparation seriously (most of the time). That’s clearly the case in his upcoming main event opposite Ciryl Gane, which will go down this weekend (Sat., March 4, 2023) in Las Vegas, Nevada. His Heavyweight debut will have more eyes than ever, and Jones has made it clear that watching footage on Gane is an absolute priority.

According to the former Light Heavyweight champion, it’s been a very fruitful study. He’s been able to identify Gane’s habits from both stances, and he’s pinpointed the major pair of weaknesses in the French fighter’s game.

“I respect Ciryl Gane, I really do, but I study film constantly and I just see a lot of patterns,” Jones said at the UFC 285 pre-fight conference (via MMAJunkie). “When he’s in one stance, there’s things he really loves to do. He goes to the same well a lot. When he’s in the opposite stance, he has his tendencies. Outside of that, I realized that he doesn’t have much wrestling. He relies on evasion, trying to get away. He relies on jiu-jitsu instead of solid takedown defense, and same with the ground game. I watched Francis Ngannou be able to rack up maybe five, six minutes of top time in that fight, and Francis is not a guy that’s known to control people on the top.

“He does have the striking down. I don’t think defensively he’s a very strong kickboxer. He has a really nice offense. Like I said, his defense is mainly in his footwork, and two other big holes are jiu-jitsu and wrestling.”

Jones would appear to be placing quite a bit of weight on Gane’s sole career loss to Ngannou. “The Predator” did manage to control Gane for a significant portion of the fight, but he also had the advantage of being one of the strongest men to ever grace UFC’s Octagon. Even so, he was unable to land anything terribly significant. Otherwise, Jones’ critique of Gane using distance as defense stands out, simply because that’s been the “Bones” M.O. for years!

Regardless, it sounds like Jones intends to implement a wrestling-heavy approach at UFC 285. Will it work in his favor?

LIVE! Watch UFC 286 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

CHAMPIONSHIP TRILOGY! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to The O2 in London England, on Sat., March 18, 2023, with newly-minted Welterweight kingpin, Leon Edwards, running it back with former 170-pound champion, Kamaru Usman, for a third (and likely final) time. In UFC 286’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, all-action Lightweight knockout artists, Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev, will lock horns with the winner inching closer to a future Lightweight title shot.

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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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