Jon Jones has beaten Ciryl Gane to become the new heavyweight champion in the UFC’s heavyweight division as another top night of action live from Las Vegas comes to a close. The fight certainly lived up to expectations as it was another night to remember in the cage fighting promotion.
Heading into the bout, Jones was the odds-on favourite with the bookies, despite it being his debut in the heavyweight division. It’s safe to say the bookies were bang on as Jones won via submission in the opening round.
It’s a new dawn for the heavyweight division which has been without a champion since the start of the year after Francis Ngannou was forced to vacate his title after opting to walk away from the promotion to pursue other avenues.
Jon Jones defeats Ciryl Gane via submission
It was a slight anti-climax as Jones had Gane on the canvas very early and then worked his way around him, getting on top and getting a choke hold to force the Frenchman to tap out.
Many expected Jones would continue his bid to be one of the all-time greats of the sport and put his name right in the mix for the title of greatest of all time. That’s something that did unfold during the submission victory over Gane, proving the fight to be a mismatch like he claimed in the build-up.
The fight was an absolute masterclass from Jones who proved why he is regarded as one of the all-time greats, making a debut in the heavweight division looks like a piece of cake.
Video: Jon Jones wins the heavyweight title
Why was the heavyweight title vacant?
Former champion Ngannou decided to leave the promotion which had helped fire him to global stardom in search of a new challenge. He was offered a contract which would have seen the UFC paying unprecedented fees out, although it wasn’t enough.
No contract meant he was no longer the champion. After informing the promotion he wasn’t going to resign with them, Dana White wasted no time in vacating the belt and announcing where and when a new heavyweight champion would be decided.
Originally there were hopes of Ngannou taking on Jones in a heavyweight title clash, although they were dashed with the breaking news at the start of the year. It did however mean Gane received a title shot again sooner rather than later. He lost to Ngannou in a title match before defeating Tai Tuivasa. One outing after his last title fight, he would be back in the big time after Ngannou’s decision.