BetOnline opens Jones as favorite vs. Miocic

Jon 'Bones' Jones is the new UFC heavyweight champion, and he'll make his first title defense later this year vs. Stipe Miocic.

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones made his return to the Octagon in Saturday’s UFC 285 headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. After more than three years on the sidelines, Jones needed only 124 seconds to dispose of Ciryl Gane to become the new undisputed heavyweight champion.

Jones made it look easy in his heavyweight debut, hooking up his betting supporters as a favorite in the -170 to -185 range. Prop bets at BetRivers for Jones to win by submission brought home a +510 payout, while props on Jones to win in Round 1 resulted in a +700 return at Caesars.

Gamblers who took ‘under’ 1.5 rounds garnered a +330 payout at BetRivers. Wagers on ‘under’ 2.5 rounds and ‘under’ 3.5 rounds brought back returns of +195 and +138, respectively, at BetRivers. Bets on Jones to win inside the distance had payouts in the +175 to +200 neighborhood.

Ring rust? Whether Jones had it or not is unclear because he made such quick work of Gane, the former interim heavyweight champ who came into the bout with a 11-1 overall record and an 8-1 mark in the UFC.

Former two-time heavyweight kingpin Stipe Miocic (20-4 MMA, 14-4 UFC) is set to face Jones next, possibly as soon as International Fight Week in Vegas in early July.

Moments after Jones forced Gane to tap with a guillotine choke, BetOnline opened Jones as a -200 favorite vs. Miocic. However, the number was moved to -300 four minutes later. An hour later, Jones was a -360 ‘chalk,’ although he’s settled at -350 now.

The 40-year-old Miocic is a +285 underdog. When asked about Jones following his victory, Miocic said, “I’m going to beat that ass.”

The firefighter from Ohio hasn’t fought since losing his belt to Francis Ngannou via second-round knockout at UFC 260 on March 27 of 2021. Miocic owns a 6-2 career record in heavyweight title fights.

He owns the UFC’s heavyweight division’s records for most title fight wins, most title defenses (four) and most fight-night bonuses (nine). Miocic is second in heavyweight history in total strikes landed (1,537), third in significant strikes landed (970), fourth in takedowns landed (25), fifth in KO wins (nine) and fifth in wins (14).

Miocic has been an underdog seven times in his 11.5-year tenure with the UFC, compiling a 5-2 record in those seven scraps.

In the UFC 285 co-main event, Alexa Grasso pulled one of the biggest upsets in women’s MMA history when she scored a fourth-round submission win over Valentina Shevchenko to win the flyweight title. The victory (face crank) as a +750 underdog (FanDuel) came with 26 seconds left in the fourth round.

Bettors taking the prop for Grasso to win by submission at FanDuel cashed a +2600 ticket, while gamblers on Grasso to win in Round 4 paid 45/1 odds at FanDuel.

Shevchenko saw her nine-fight winning streak snapped. She had not tasted defeat since a split-decision loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 215 on Sept. 9 of 2017.

On Sunday afternoon, BetOnline opened the 34-year-old Shevchenko as a -250 favorite for a rematch with Grasso. However, the number is currently at -180, with Grasso as a +155 underdog.

The Fight of the Night bonus at UFC 285 went to Shavkat Rakhmonov and Geoff Neal. Both men pocketed an extra $50,000 after waging an epic welterweight war won by Rakhmonov via rear-naked choke submission with 43 seconds left in the third and final round.

Neal missed weight on Friday, tipping the scales four pounds over the 171-pound limit. UFC President Dana White waved the rule that fighters can’t receive bonuses if they miss weight, though.

“I don’t give a shit. This is the first time we’ve ever paid a bonus to somebody that missed weight. There was no way I wasn’t giving that kid $50,000 for that performance. [Neal] tested Rakhmonov’s chin and his heart.”

Rakhmonov improved to 17-0 overall and 5-0 in the UFC. He’s won all 17 of his career fights by finish, including nine submissions and eight KOs.

In other UFC 285 action, welterweight prospect Ian Garry remained undefeated with a third-round KO of Song Kenan and middleweight phenom Bo Nickal improved to 4-0 in his professional career with a first-round submission (arm-triangle choke) of Jamie Pickett in the opener of the pay-per-view card. Nickal won a 50K bonus for Performance of the Night honors, while Jones and Grasso also received POTN bonuses.

In the prelims headliner, former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt got back into the win column with a unanimous-decision win over Trevin Jones in a 135-pound scrap. The 31-year-old Garbrandt improved to 13-5 overall and 8-5 in the UFC. He had lost five of his six previous bouts, including four KO defeats with three of those coming in Round 1.

All 27 media members scored the fight 29-28 for Garbrandt.

Other impressive winners included Mateusz Gamrot (split-decision win vs. Jalin Turner), Dricus du Plessis (second-round KO win vs. Derek Brunson) and Amanda Ribas (UD win over Viviane Araujo).

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