Choose any place to finish summer, Paris wouldn’t be far down the list. Props to UFC for taking the Labor Day vacation, UFC Fight Night 209 Saturday evening at Accor Arena.
Of course, the main draw for the event is hometown hero Ciryl Gane. So, no accident the top of the MMA world made the trip to Europe.
Born in La Roche-sur-Yon, on the Atlantic coast of France, Gane moved to Paris when he was a teenager, where he discovered Muay Thai. Then, after a couple of years of fighting in that discipline, his MMA career began with a win for the vacant TKO heavyweight championship.
Fighting in UFC, Gane won the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 265 a year ago, but when fighting for the actual title at UFC 270 in January, Gane lost to Francis Ngannou in a unanimous decision.
UFC Fight Night Main Card
Ciryl Gane vs. Tai Tuivasa – Heavyweight Odds by BetUs
It’s the main event. It’s why we’re in France, and it’s why the audience will gaze. It won’t be competitive, according to MMA odds.
Ciryl Gane is 10-1-0. He will work to wear down Tuivasa, who is from Australia. He is 15-3-0, coming off a knockout win over Derrick Lewis, 14th of his 15 knockout wins..
It is great technique vs. great power, and as seen from the UFC odds, technique is taken to easily win the day. Tuivasa is riding a win streak of five bouts, but Gane’s at home and is the much better fighter in this match.
Robert Whittaker vs. Marvin Vettori – Middleweight
The two top contenders in the middleweight division are expected to provide a better fight than the feature. No. 1 ranked Aussie Whittaker, 24-6-0 in his career, opposes Italian Bettori (18-5-1).
Vettori lost to Adesanya for the title at UFC 263. However, he is coming off a victory (light heavyweight), winning the night last October.
Alessio Di Chirico vs. Roman Kopylov – Middleweight
Also in the middleweight division, the Italian Di Chirico draws the Russian Kopylov. Both are coming off losing efforts, It was Di Chirico fourth loss in his last five. It’s now been a year since he last fought, and he’s hoping the layoff is exactly what was needed.
Kopylov is 8-2 in his career, the losses coming in his last two fights. Seven of his UFC wins have been by knockout.
It’s just about a pick ‘em in the wagering, as per MMA odds.
John Makdessi vs. Nasrat Haqparast – Lightweight
In the lightweight division, it’s Canadian Makdessi vs. Moroccan Haqparast.
Makdessi was a split-decision victor last out. That was more than 16 months ago. He lost in the fight before that to Francisco Trinaldo (unanimous decision).
Haqparast’s been on the short end of unanimous decisions in his last two. He last won in March of 2021, and last win by knockout was more than three years ago.
Charles Jourdain vs. Nathaniel Wood – Featherweight
The last main-card fight is the featherweight bout between Canadian Jourdain and Brit Wood.
Jourdain lost to Shane Burgos in July. He was a winner in April over Lando Vannata.
Wood was a winner in July over Charles Rosa. That was his first fight since a loss to Casey Kenney in October of 2020.
UFC Fight Night Preliminary Card
Abus Magomedov vs. Dustin Stotzfus – Middleweight
Fares Ziam vs. Michal Figlak – Lightweight
Nassourdine Imavov vs. Joaquin Buckley – Middleweight
Benoit Saint-Denis vs. Gabriel Miranda – Lightweight
Khalid Taha vs. Cristian Quinonez – Bantamweight
Stephanie Egger vs. Ailin Perez – Women’s Featherweight