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UFC 285: Referee and judges selected for Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane main event

The NSAC has named the officials for the heavyweight title fight main event of UFC 285

UFC 247: Jones v Reyes
Jon Jones faces Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 285
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The vacant UFC heavyweight title is up for grabs on March 4 when former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones faces ex-interim UFC heavyweight titleholder Ciryl Gane in the main event of the UFC 285 pay-per-view card.

During its monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission selected Marc Goddard as the referee for the five-round fight. The NSAC also named Mike Bell, Sal D’Amato and Ron McCarthy as the judges for the heavyweight title scrap. Goddard will be paid $2,600 and the judges will earn $2,300 each.

The UFC heavyweight title was left vacant in mid-January when the promotion—unable to come to an agreement that would have kept then-champion Francis Ngannou with the UFC—walked away from the negotiation table and gave up its right to match any offer Ngannou might receive from competitors.

Jones has not fought since February 8, 2020, when he defended the UFC light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes. Jones won that fight via unanimous decision. In August 2020. Jones vacated the promotion’s 205-pound title. At the time, Jones said he was walking way from the belt because “the last I spoke with the UFC about my salary there was no negotiating.” According to Jones’ advisor Richard Schaefer, the ex-light heavyweight champion is now the “highest-paid heavyweight athlete” in the UFC and that Jones is receiving, “probably the second highest number next to Conor McGregor.”

Gane won the interim UFC heavyweight title in August 2021 with a TKO win over Derrick Lewis. Ngannou defeated Gane via decision in the January 2022 title unification bout. The MMA Factory athlete enters UFC 285 coming off a September 2022 knockout win over Tai Tuivasa.

UFC 285 takes place on March 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

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