For the second year in a row, the UFC octagon is taking a September trip to Paris, France, now that the sport is finally legalized in the country. And, for the second year in a row, French heavyweight Ciryl Gane will be fighting in the main event. Will he be victorious again this year? Here are my UFC Paris predictions and best bets.
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UFC Paris Predictions & Best Bets
Sergey Spivak (+163) vs. Ciryl Gane
No, Ciryl Gane will not be victorious two years in a row. Well, I’m not predicting he’ll be, at least. Sergey Spivak has a very clear path to victory here, and it just so happens to be his strongest suit – wrestling and grappling. Gane has stated he has no interest in working on his wrestling and grappling and has been taken down by strikers like Francis Ngannou before. Let’s go with the dog here, who is also younger and heavier than Gane.
Spivak throwing Derrick Lewis pic.twitter.com/xf6KA6mvGT
— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) August 29, 2023
Manon Fiorot (-175) vs. Rose Namajunas
However, I am predicting a French fighter to win in the co-main event. Former two-time strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is making the move up to flyweight for this fight, and she’s up against a bigger and stronger fighter in Manon Fiorot.
‘The Beast’ has won ten straight fights after dropping her professional MMA debut in June 2018 and will be the better striker here. Plus, Namajunas is coming off a historically bad performance where she did nothing in the fight yet thought she still won. You never know which version of Rose, mentally, will show up on fight night.
Volkan Oezdemir (-175) vs. Bogdan Guskov
Bogdan Guskov can crack, but he’s making his UFC debut here on short notice. Short-notice fighters only win 37% of the time, and I suspect that number is even worse for debuting fighters. While Volkan Oezdemir seems to be past his prime at this point and has only won one fight in his last four, even at this stage of his career, he’s by far the best fighter Guskov has ever faced.
Caolan Loughran (+142) vs. Taylor Lapilus
I’m surprised to see hyped Irish prospect Caolan Loughran as an underdog for his UFC debut, but I’ll take it. Opponent Taylor Lapilus is making his return to the UFC after going 3-1 in his first run, while Loughran is a perfect 8-0 and is the Cage Warriors champion. He’s four years younger than Lapilus, has fought a high level of competition, and hits really, really hard. Nice underdog play.
Rhys McKee (+150) vs. Ange Loosa
Let’s take another hyped Irish prospect as a surprise underdog in Rhys McKee. ‘Skeletor’ is making his return to the UFC after going 0-2 in his first attempt at the big time, although he was thrown in the deep end against hard opponents, including Khamzat Chimaev. Since then, he’s gone back to winning in Europe and is a Cage Warriors champ, just like Loughran. He’ll be bigger (four inches taller, four inches of reach), younger (by two years), and more dangerously well-rounded than Ange Loosa.
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