- UFC odds are favoring Jon Jones -175 to defeat Curtis Blaydes +150 in his 2023 return.
- UFC 285 is set for Jon Jones to return with his heavyweight debut against Blaydes or Ngannou.
- I give my early betting prediction for Jones vs Blaydes below.
The Jon Jones heavyweight debut saga continues! The former light heavyweight king is expected to face Francis Ngannou or Curtis Blaydes at heavyweight in 2023. We covered Jones vs Ngannou odds earlier this year.
It’s expected that “The Predator” Ngannou could actually walk away from the UFC, with his contract expiring soon. In that case, Curtis Blaydes would make for a fun match-up for Jones’ return at UFC 285.
Jones vs Blaydes Odds
Opening Jones vs Blaydes odds has favored Jon Jones with an implied win probability of 63.6%. The former light heavyweight champ possesses a bigger gamble this time, but at -175 you can bet $175 to net $100 with these early UFC odds.
Blaydes as a +150 underdog could pose a real threat to Jones, known for his wrestling and grappling he could easily derail Jone’s heavyweight return.
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Jones vs Blaydes Prediction
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen Jon Jones step inside the octagon. The former 205-pound champion’s last appearance was against Dominick Reyes in February 2020. Prior to that Jones won a razor-thin split decision against Thiago Santos, the blueprint to beat the champ was starting to show – yet none of his recent challengers could crack the puzzle.
Jones’s heavyweight debut has been rumbling since late 2020, with a regimented weight training and conditioning program underway to ensure his skills translate with the added weight.
Jones is now 35, and with his prime years behind him it is still possible for him to have a successful run at heavyweight. With the division being so thin, anyone in the top ten can be two-fights away from a title shot at any given moment.
Blaydes’s MMA record is 17-3 (12-3-1 UFC) and is easily one of the greatest fights in the division. The third-ranked heavyweight is currently riding a three-fight winning streak with his triumphs over Jahrzinho Rozenstruik, Chris Daukaus, and Tom Aspinall.
While Blaydes vs Jones doesn’t have the same appeal as Ngannou or even Gane for that matter. It will certainly be a tough test for Jones and a chance to see exactly how he looks after all this time away and in a higher weight class.
Jones’s fight IQ has always been on another level. I expect that to have not changed and if he can stuff Blaydes takedowns, then we might see another classic Jones dismantling of Blaydes.
While “Razor” has real grit and wrestling, his chin has been suspect at times with Ngannou stopping him twice and Derrick Lewis having success too. It will be interesting to see how that added weight will affect Jone’s punching power when it lands a clean shot on Curtis Blaydes.
Betting Pick: Jon Jones
Greatest UFC LHW vs HW Postponed
Jon Jones, statistically speaking, is the greatest UFC champion of this generation. Stipe Miocic the greatest UFC heavyweight repeatedly proposed a match with the champion, but negotiations between the UFC and Miocic have stalled.
“I think once they didn’t really come correct with an offer – and that’s really what happened here,” The MMA Hour host, Ariel Helwani, revealed at the start of November. “It was like a, ‘Hey, you wanna fight him, here’s the amount, take it or leave it.’ And [Stipe Miocic] was like ‘Uhhh,’ and then they just moved on.”
Its anyone’s guess if we will ever see Stipe back in the octagon. Perhaps seeing Jones return will reignite his fire and give the fans what they really want the best for the best in 2023.
Comment below on who you’d like Jon Jones to fight first at heavyweight?