It’s been a long, long time coming, but the UFC has finally made its way to France. After the ban on MMA being lifted in 2020 in the country, the UFC octagon is finally making its debut in Paris this Saturday with UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Tuivasa. Here are my UFC Paris predictions – all your winners for Saturday, in advance.
UFC Paris Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Ciryl Gane (-550) vs Tai Tuivasa
Ciryl Gane will look to be the victorious hometown hero on Saturday night in the Accor Arena. Fighting out of Paris’s MMA Factory, ‘Bon Gamin’ will be aiming to bounce back from his first career loss, in a title unification bout against Francis Ngannou. He’s got the length and the smart fighting style to stymie the heavy-hitting Tai Tuivasa. Gane also has some grappling in his back pocket if need be. He avoided Ngannou’s massive power for 25 minutes – I think he can do the same with ‘Bam Bam’, but I’m not going anywhere near a line this large for this fight.
Robert Whittaker (-230) vs Marvin Vettori
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker has clearly staked his claim as the second-best 185-pounder in the UFC and hasn’t really shown any ‘slippage’ in his skills. The problem is, he’s also shown no ability to beat current champ Israel Adesanya, falling to him twice. But he does have the edge in every aspect of the sport against this week’s opponent, Marvin Vettori, so he should get his hand raised on Saturday night.
Alessio Di Chirico (-110) vs Roman Kopylov
These two middleweights, meanwhile, haven’t staked any claims in the UFC. Alessio Di Chirico is 4-6 in the big show; Roman Kopylov is 0-2. While Kopylov has the power on his side, Di Chirico is probably the better striker and grappler and has proven he can compete on this level.
Alessio Di Chirico shut Joaquin Buckley’s lights off with a headkick at UFC on ABC 1. Both of these middleweights will be competing at UFC Paris. Di Chirico faces Roman Kopylov. Buckley takes on Nassourdine Imavov. #UFCParis pic.twitter.com/0cncHOIbuI
— Mike's MMA Picks (@MikesMMAPicks) August 29, 2022
Nasrat Haqparast (-220) vs John Makdessi
Despite being a large favorite, Nasrat Haqparast isn’t a slam dunk pick for me here. John Makdessi is a hard out, and Haqparast hasn’t always impressed in the octagon. However, Makdessi has been out of the cage for over a year (fighters with over a year between fights only win 46% of the time) and is 10 years older than Haqparast. Plus, Haqparast has only really lost to the top of the division (or at least ranked) fighters as of late.
William Gomis (-215) vs Jarno Errens
Two debuting featherweights are up next on the main card, but William Gomis will have the crowd in his corner, as he’s French. He also will enter on an eight-fight winning streak, is younger than Jarno Errens, and probably has the stronger strength of schedule.
William Gomis makes his UFC debut at #UFCParis and I am so excited to see what he’s gonna be able to do at just 25 in the UFC. Bare in mind he is predominantly a striker and lands one of the coolest takedowns I’ve ever seen in his last fight. pic.twitter.com/KKMeIjrjcV
— Jack Della Enjoyer (@MMAprospecwatch) August 26, 2022
Nathaniel Wood (+112) vs Charles Jourdain
Time to grab a live dog in Nathaniel Wood. The heralded British fighter will be making his second appearance at featherweight after a successful debut at 145 pounds against Charles Rosa. I’m counting on him being the better grappler in this fight against Charles Jourdain, and probably the better striker as well. And while Jourdain is taller and probably thicker, they have the same reach.
Abus Magomedov (-260) vs Dustin Stoltzfus
After almost two years on the sidelines, PFL finalist Abus Magomedov makes his UFC debut on Saturday night. Coming off of back-to-back submission wins, he should be able to ride his grappling to victory over Dustin Stoltzfus.
A number one. Top of the heap! Middleweight Semifinal: #1 seed Abus Magomedov defeats #5 seed Sadibou Sy by Unanimous Decision. Magomedov advances to the PFL 2018 Championship on #NYE in #NYC at @HuluTheaterMSG for a shot at $1 Million! #PFLPlayoffs @OfficialAbus pic.twitter.com/NsBC4xeCWa
— PFL (@PFLMMA) October 21, 2018
Michal Figlak (-200) vs Fares Ziam
‘Mad Dog’ Michal Figlak is yet another debuting fighter this week, taking on four-fight (2-2) UFC veteran Fares Ziam. The 8-0 Figlak is a highly regarded lightweight prospect, with high-level experience in Cage Warriors. Figlak via decision is my precise prediction here.
Nassourdine Imavov (-371) vs Joaquin Buckley
Nassourdine Imavov has won two-straight fights via TKO, against very strong opposition (Ian Heinisch and Edmen Shahbazyan). Joaquin Buckley, while dangerous, probably is a slight step back in competition for ‘Russian Sniper’, hence the -371 line. Plus, this is a home game for Imavov, as he has lived in France since age 10.
Benoit Saint-Denis (-400) vs Gabriel Miranda
After taking – and surviving – a brutal beating in his UFC debut, Benoit Saint-Denis rebounded with a submission win in his last fight. He gets a favorable matchup on home turf this week, facing a short-notice debuting Gabriel Miranda.
Benoit Saint Denis showcasing some true toughness, my goodness! 😤
— UFC (@ufc) October 30, 2021
Christian Quinonez (+108) vs Khalid Taha
I’m going against the stats and I’m taking a short notice debuting fighter in this matchup in Christian Quinonez. He’s coming into the big show on the back of an impressive performance on Dana White’s Contender Series. He’s won four straight and seven of eight, and is the bigger, younger fighter in this matchup. And Khalid Taha hasn’t officially won a fight since April of 2019 after having a win scrubbed off his record due to a failed drug test.
Stephanie Egger (-300) vs Ailin Perez
Stephanie Egger just lost a fight earlier this month, so she’ll be taking this one on really short notice against the debuting Ailin Perez. It is also up a weight class for her at featherweight. Yet despite her big talk, Perez has never fought someone on Egger’s level. I’ll go with the UFC vet.
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