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UFC 285: Preliminary card preview, stats and best bets as Cody Garbrandt takes on Trevin Jones

UFC 285 has four tasty encounters on the preliminary card. Here, we take a look at the key stats and bets ahead of each bout.

Cody Garbrandt vs Trevin Jones

Once standing atop the division as its champion, it has been a bumpy fall down the rankings for Cody Garbrandt who now headlines the prelims instead of the main event.

His opponent is Trevin Jones, whose own journey in the division has led him to some of the toughest unranked fighters in the UFC.

Garbrandt has superb boxing and his knockout of Raphael Assuncao would not have looked out of place on a Top Rank or PBC main card. However, that was his only win in six fights - a streak that goes back to his title loss against TJ Dillashaw.

Jones is also in the midst of a losing streak. After winning his opening two bouts in the UFC (the first of which being overturned to a no contest due to a positive test for marijuana) he has lost his last three fights to fighters on the edge of the UFC rankings such as Javid Basharat and Raoni Barcelos.

Jones' striking is his best asset and it can act as his get out of jail card. During his fight with Timur Valiev he clearly lost the opening round, but secured a second round stoppage with a vicious right hook and ground & pound.

This fight looks to be a strikers delight with huge implications considering a loss could see either man let go from the organisation. 

With Garbrandt being knocked out in four of his last five losses, I would give the edge to Jones, a wild style only works if you can avoid taking damage and Garbrandt has proven his striking defense is incredibly suspect.

Key Stats

Garbrandt has only been to the judges' scorecards once since 2017.
Jones has finished both of his UFC wins in round 2.

Suggested Bets

Trevin Jones to win.
Total rounds completed - less than 2

Derek Brunson vs Dricus Du Plessis

With a ten-year age gap and with careers going in different directions, Derek Brunson vs Dricus Du Plessis will be a test if the old dog still has some bite left or if its time to put him out to pasture.
During his 20 fight UFC career, Derek Brunson has seen champions and top contenders come and go, but he has maintained his place as a top 15 talent throughout.
A strong wrestler with legitimate power in his hands, Brunson has dispatched flavour of the month prospects like Edmen Shahbazyan and Kevin Holland along with veterans like Lyoto Machida and Darren Till.
Dricus Du Plessis is the latest prospect to stand up to Brunson. The South African's unorthodox striking and movement has led him to victory against Brad Tavares and Darren Till, with his diverse submission game finally coming to center stage in his last outing against Till.
The fight game is a ruthless one where the young often eat the old, Derek Brunson had talks of retirement prior to his last fight against Jared Cannonier, Dricus Du Plessis talked about being the face of a potential UFC card in Africa.
This fight will display the best of the middleweight division, can Brunson reignite his career aged 39 for one last title charge? Will Du Plessis catapult himself into the middleweight title picture?
My prediction is that Dricus Du Plessis will continue his charge up the rankings and defeat Derek Brunson via KO/TKO.

Key Stats

Prior to his loss to Jared Cannonier, Derek Brunson was on a five fight winning streak with his two finishes coming in the third round.
Dricus Du Plessis has three finishes in four UFC wins, with wins in the first second and third round.

Suggested bets

Total rounds completed - At least three

Julian Marquez vs Marc Andre Barriault

Kill or be killed is the most accurate way to describe the recent UFC careers of Julian Marquez and Marc Andre Barriault, with neither man seeing the final bell since 2019.
Marquez is a submission ace whose most notable moment came when, after defeating Maki Pitolo at UFC 258, he called out Miley Cyrus in his post-fight interview and asked her to be his Valentine.
Aside from his questionable seduction practices, Marquez has legitimate quality in the cage when he can make it to fight night, an early two year layoff hindered his progress and a series of cancelled fights led him to fighting Gregory Rodrigues last time out, a fight he lost by first round KO.
Barriault's UFC career has been a rollercoaster, after entering the promotion with a record of 11-1 with plenty of knockouts, he lost his first three fights by decision and the one fight where he did win in order to likely save his job, he tested positive for steroids.
Since all that high drama though, Barriault has decided he wants the fight to be over quickly, with four of his last five fights ending inside the distance with an even split between wins and losses.
Both of these men are talented fighters, Marquez has excellent submissions and Barriault has great power. I predict that Marquez will use his superior wrestling to take Barriault down, and overwhelm him on the ground to secure a submission victory.

Key Stats

Julian Marquez has never lost two fights in a row, his last fight was a loss to Gregory Rodrigues
Marc Andre Barriault lost his last fight by submission in the third round.

Suggested Bets

Julian Marquez to win by submission.
Julian Marquez to win in round three

Viviane Araujo vs Amanda Ribas

Stuttering performances have been costly for UFC 285's Viviane Araujo and Amanda Ribas, with both being on the cusp of title shots, one loss can prove deadly in a jam-packed flyweight division.
Women's flyweight is arguably the deepest of the women's divisions in the UFC, with talent emerging constantly it is crucial to stay consistent if you want to fight for the belt.
Unfortunately for Araujo and Ribas alternating wins and losses in the way they both have is a massive problem if they want to make the next step in the division.
Araujo has the toughness and cardio to create a difficult fight for anyone as she showed in her main event loss to Alexa Grasso in October, going five rounds with one of the best female boxers the UFC has to offer is no small achievement.
The question remains "Does she have all the necessary skills to be a champion?" She hasn't finished any of her wins since her UFC debut and as the talent gets better those opportunities to grind out wins become less frequent.
For Ribas, fight cancellations have impacted her activity with five cancelled bouts in the last two years, but a loss to Katlyn Chookagian in her last outing no matter how close does not read well for her chances at a title shot.
If Ribas can put everything together and stay healthy she will become a top contender with her slick jiu jitsu and aggressive style, however if things don't go her way we could be saying "What if?" very soon.

Key Stats

Both women have four submission wins in their careers whilst never being submitted.
Araujo's last seven fights have all gone to the judges' scorecards.

Suggested Bets

Fight to go the distance - Yes.

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