Trevin Jones Replaces Julio Arce Against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 285

A former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder has found a suitable replacement for his March appearance.

News of Julio Arce’s withdrawal from UFC 285 broke on Monday, as a knee injury forced him out of his expected pairing with Cody Garbrandt (12-5). Stepping up on about a month’s notice, Trevin Jones (13-9, 1 NC) has been tapped as the new opponent opposite Garbrandt. The UFC’s broadcast partner of ESPN first brought this to light on Friday.

The ex-bantamweight king, Garbrandt has fallen on hard times the last several years. Since claiming the throne from Dominick Cruz in 2016, Garbrandt has fought just six times, and prevailed only once against Raphael Assuncao in 2020. Averaging about a fight a year – although Garbrandt did not set foot in the cage in 2020 – “No Love” will come into this crucial contest on a two-fight skid. His 2021 campaign did not go his way, as a five-round headliner against Rob Font ended up with Font getting his hand raised, and a return outing almost seven months later ended with him getting knocked out in the first round at flyweight by Kai Kara France.

Even though he is on a three-fight losing streak of his own, Jones has won more recently than his opponent. The lone victory inside the Octagon for the Guam native came in March 2021, where he knocked out Mario Bautista in Round 1. Although he dominated Timur Valiev in his UFC debut in 2020, a failed drug test for marijuana wiped the win off his ledger. While the majority of Garbrandt’s career wins have come by knockout, “5 Star” has never been stopped with strikes.

UFC 285 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 4, and the main attraction will see Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane tangle for the vacant heavyweight throne. The co-headliner slot goes to another title fight, as flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko looks to keep an iron grip on her crown against Alexa Grasso. The main card will be rounded out by a lightweight battle between Dan Hooker and Jalin Turner, a welterweight encounter pitting Geoff Neal against Shavkat Rakhmonov and a middleweight contest as Bo Nickal makes his much-anticipated debut against Jamie Pickett.

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