Jon Jones returns to win UFC heavyweight title in first round

Jon Jones, center, celebrates after defeating Ciryl Gane in a UFC 285 mixed martial arts heavyweight
title bout, Saturday

Jon Jones ended a three-year sabbatical from the UFC, moved up to its highest weight class and then left no doubt Saturday night about his place in the sport’s history.

Already widely considered the greatest UFC fighter, the 35-year-old Jones took Ciryl Gane to the mat just a little more than a minute into the first round and won with a guillotine choke at 2:04 in UFC 285.

“I’m so excited,” Jones said. “I’ve been working for this for a long time. A people thought I wasn’t coming back. I’ve been faithful to my goal, faithful to my mission.”

As short as the fight was, Jones made sure to take his time entering the octagon, playing up to the sold-out crowd of 19,471. UFC President Dana White said the gate was $12.5 million, the highest for a heavyweight match and the fourth-highest ever.

This was Jones’ first fight in three years and his first in the heavyweight division. The former light heavyweight champion said it was important to cement in his own mind that he deserved the honor as the greatest ever.

With another GOAT, Tom Brady, sitting nearby, Jones did just that. Brady flew in the day of the fight from Florida and spent time with Jones’ brother, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones. MDT/AP

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