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UFC Paris: Gane vs Spivac - Sep 2 🇫🇷


wandshogun09

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Back in Paris…

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ESPN MAIN CARD
Ciryl Gane vs Sergey Spivac 

Manon Fiorot vs Rose Namajunas 

Benoit Saint-Denis vs Thiago Moises

Volkan Oezdemir vs Bogdan Guskov 

William Gomis vs Yanis Ghemmouri 

Morgan Charriere vs Manolo Zecchini  

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Taylor Lapilus vs Caolan Loughran

Ange Loosa vs Rhys McKee

Nora Cornolle vs Joselyne Edwards

Farid Basharat vs Kleydson Rodrigues

Zarah Fairn vs Jacqueline Cavalcanti

 

Not bad. I don’t think it’s as good as the first Paris card last year. Gane vs Tuivasa was a more fun stylistic matchup than this Spivac fight, plus that one had a Robert Whittaker co-main. Still, this is better than your standard Apex shit. That’s not the official bout order, as always I’ll edit as and when the shitload of pullouts and shuffles start.


 

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Ciryl Gane vs Sergey Spivac tops the bill. Decent enough Heavyweight fight, which I don’t say often. Should feel bigger being in Paris as well with Gane being the hometown guy. They were absolutely loving him on the first France card back in September and I expect nothing less this time. This one feels different though. Could be a tricky one.

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Gane knocked out Tai Tuivasa on that last Paris card. The first ever UFC show in France and Gane sent the fans home happy. It was some fight as well. One of the better Heavyweight fights in recent memory. Gane needed that kind of win and performance coming off the loss to Francis Ngannou. That was the first loss of Gane’s career as well. To come back in his next fight, with the pressure of headlining the first UFC France card and pull out a performance like that was cool to see. He looked like a star that night and it was a nice way to bounce back and get back on track. That win bagged him a huge fight and opportunity against a returning Jon Jones at UFC 285 in March. And, well…

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Jones submitted Gane in 2 minutes with ease. Embarrassing really. Obviously losing to Jones isn’t embarrassing. He’s one of the best of all time. But the way it happened, with Gane just recklessly overcommitting with a punch and basically handing Jones the takedown, then having ZERO answers once it hit the ground. I really like Gane but it was piss poor. He knows it as well.

“One month before the fight, we were so happy. It was a dream. One minute after the fight, it was a nightmare.” - Ciryl Gane

Everyone knew going in that Gane’s weak area was the grappling and Jones would be looking to exploit that. Gane just made it so easy for him though. I really thought he’d be able to control the distance in the striking and get the better of it on the feet. Especially with Jones coming off a massive layoff and going up in weight. Gane shat the bed though. And that’s twice now in title fights. Like I say, I’m a fan of him. He’s really likeable, reminds me almost of a big giant GSP a bit. But there seems to be that last hurdle he can’t get over. His defensive grappling is an issue. He’ll get away with that to a certain point, especially in a division like Heavyweight that’s full of useless fat slugs. But at the highest levels he gets found out. That’s what makes this an interesting fight.

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Sergey Spivac’s obviously no Francis Ngannou or Jon Jones. So at first glance this might seem like the UFC just feeding Gane a body to get him back in the win column in front of a home crowd. I’m not so sure though. I think Spivac has serious banana skin potential here. He’s only 28 years old, he’s 16-3 with 14 finishes and is currently on a 3 fight winning streak with TKO finishes over Greg Hardy and Augusto Sakai, and in his last fight in February he easily submitted Derrick Lewis. It’s not exactly a Goldberg ‘98 run but it’s the style I can see giving Gane issues here. He’s primarily a grappler and he’s been quite effective with it. Looking at his record, he has as many finishes by KO/TKO as he does by submission but a lot of those finishes via strikes probably came about through ground and pound after he got them down. I know the Hardy one did. He’s nicknamed the ‘Polar Bear’ and it kind of fits, he has a very mauling style. He has been susceptible to the early KO before, both Tom Aspinall and Walt Harris stopped him in the first round. So there’s a path for Gane. But we know what Spivac’s gameplan is gonna be and, if he can execute it, it could be a rough night for the big Frenchman.

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An interesting one. Gane’s ranked #2 as I type this, Spivac’s ranked #7. So they’re both up there. Gane’s got his work cut out coming off two failed title shots within the last 2 years. But if he wins this and another one, it’s such a shallow division he’ll probably get another crack at it before too long. A win for Spivac here would be huge for him though. Beating the #2 ranked guy would shoot him into the Top 5. There’ll be one very interested onlooker here as well…

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The Heavyweight division is in a dodgy time right now. We’ve got Jones vs Stipe in November (although years after it should’ve happened) but they’re both probably done after that. I can’t see Jones or Stipe sticking around for these guys coming up. I like what Aspinall’s doing though. I reckon the UFC will wait to see how this Gane vs Spivac fight plays out before making their next move. If Gane wins, I think they’ll go with Gane vs Aspinall 100%. Either at the end of this year or early 2024. If Spivac wins I’m not so sure just because Aspinall’s already beat him convincingly. Then there’s Sergei Pavlovich lurking in the shadows. Ultimately I think we end up with Aspinall vs Pavlovich for the vacant belt once Jones and Stipe call it a day. It’s just what happens in between that I’m not sure about. Hopefully this Gane vs Spivac fight is good though and I hope Gane gets back to winning ways. I’ve got my doubts though. Really not confident he can keep this on the feet. Definitely a trickier matchup than Tuivasa was. We’ll see.

 

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Manon Fiorot vs Rose Namajunas is your co-main. I like it actually. It feels like a step up for Fiorot and it’s a big opportunity for her to get a breakout win in front of a home crowd. She’s looked pretty good so far, if not spectacular. She’s 10-1 with 6 knockouts and her only loss was a split decision in her MMA debut against Leah McCourt in 2018. So a 10 fight winning streak and she’s coming off a points win over Katlyn Chookagian in October. She’s decent. Good striking and looks big and strong for 125. It’s Rose who makes this more intriguing though.

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She’s moving up to Flyweight for this. A fresh start in a new division. We last saw her in May 2022 in that fucking awful fight against Carla Esparza. She lost the decision and the Strawweight title that night and it was easily one of the worst title fights in UFC history. Horrible fight. Rose came out after defending it, acting like we just don’t appreciate “good strategy” and how it was “art”. It was a shit fight end of story. Rotten. She’s talked about considering retirement after that loss and how she’d kind of not been fully committed to MMA for years. She’s making the right noises going into this one but we’ll see how she looks on the night…

“I’m definitely all the way back. I’m definitely going to fight. I’ve been one foot in, one foot out for many years now, for many fights. It’s just one of those things and this is a very complicated sport and thing that we do. It’s almost like a drug too. It’s wonderful.”

”I had gotten a lot of offers since taking time off. That was the first time where I was like, ‘That sounds interesting.’ Manon, I think, just as an opponent is exciting too. She’s a true martial artist. She’s not just a fighter or an athlete. I remember watching her, I was like, ‘She’s pretty badass!’ She has some real striking skills, and I like girls that can strike. Her Karate background and her style, even her attitude, her whole little swagger. That’s something that brings out the competitor in me, and I love that.” - Rose Namajunas

OK then. She sounds excited about it at least. I am intrigued by how she’s gonna do at Flyweight. I never thought of her as a particularly big Strawweight and I don’t know how much weight she used to cut but no doubt this’ll be a more natural weight class for her and that can only be a good thing. But to come back after over a year on the shelf, going up a division and against someone as big and strong as Fiorot is a ballsy move. Fiorot is ranked #2 as well so a win for Rose here would immediately catapult her right up the rankings. And if Fiorot wins it would be the biggest name on her record and it would be kind of hard to deny her the next crack at the gold. She’s kind of become the forgotten woman at 125 and I’m as guilty of it as anyone. I’ve been looking at that upcoming Santos vs Blanchfield fight in Singapore as a #1 contender fight but Fiorot is ranked above both of them. A spectacular performance from Fiorot here, and especially if she can stop Rose, could well cement her as the next in line for the Grasso vs Shev 2 winner.

 

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Benoit Saint-Denis vs Thiago Moises should be worth a watch. Saint-Denis came into the UFC in 2021 off a solid run in the Brave promotion. He got absolutely battered by Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos in his Octagon debut, somehow went the distance but I remember the ref being terrible in that one and thinking he should’ve stopped it. I never paid much attention to BSD after that but he’s bounced back nicely since, moving up to Lightweight and bagging 3 wins and 3 finishes. He had a really entertaining fight with Gabriel Miranda on the last Paris show, which he won by TKO and got a POTN bonus. But his last fight was the one that opened some eyes.

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He faced Ismael Bonfim in July and just took it to him. Bonfim was coming off a spectacular debut, knocking out Terrance McKinney with a flying knee, and already had some hype on him. I think the matchmakers set this up thinking they’d keep the Bonfim streak rolling but Saint-Denis was having none of it. He was all over him from the opening bell and never let up until he got the submission late in the first round. This is a tough test for him. Moises is a BJJ black-belt, coming off a couple of submission wins, has wins over Bobby Green, Michael Johnson, went to the 4th round with Islam Makhachev a couple of years ago etc. He’s a tricky one. Could be the sleeper on this card actually.

 

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Volkan Oezdemir vs Bogdan Guskov is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** here. Wasn’t much to choose from on the undercard here but this one kind of stood out. When did Anthony Smith get his tattoos removed? Seriously, this might be fun. It was originally supposed to be Oezdemir vs Azamat Murzakanov but that went tits up and here we are. Hard to believe Oezdemir is the same guy who burst on the scene years ago knocking people out left and right. Even harder to believe the hype on him was such back then that he even got a title shot against Daniel Cormier! It’s been diminishing returns since then though. He’s 18-7 now and has lost 3 of his last 4. He still packs a punch though, even if his record doesn’t show it. He had a good old slobberknocker with Nikita Krylov last time out.

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Bogdan Guskov makes his UFC debut here on short notice. He’s from Uzbekistan, he’s 30 years old and he’s got a record of 14-2 with all 14 wins coming inside the distance. 12 came by knockout and his last fight in March lasted just 25 seconds. Doesn’t sound like the worst signing or substitute, to be fair. And the Light Heavyweight division needs all the new blood it can get. Oezdemir’s not on great form at the moment but he’s knocked around a while and mixed with a lot of names we know. So this should be a good barometer to see what Guskov is about.

 

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William Gomis vs Yanis Ghemmouri is a last minute switcharoo. Gomis was all set to face Lucas Almeida on this card but Almeida’s out injured. And Ghemmouri, making his UFC debut here, was supposed to fight fellow Octagon newbie Caolan Loughran. They’ve shuffled the deck and here we are. Can’t say I’m too fussed about this one really. I’ve been underwhelmed by Gomis’ first couple of UFC fights. I remember quite looking forward to his debut on last year’s Paris show but it felt flat to me. He beat Jarno Errens by majority decision that night, then beat Francis Marshall by split decision in April. The Errens fight was cack and I can’t even remember the Marshall one, and I know I saw it. He’s 12-2 and only 26. I’m sure there’s better to come. But so far, I’m not feeling it. Who knows, maybe this Ghemmouri guy can drag something more watchable out of him. He’s 28 years old and has a 12-1 record with 7 finishes.

 

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Morgan Charriere vs Manolo Zecchini is a bit of a mystery to me. Both are making their UFC debuts and I haven’t seen either yet. France’s Charriere is 27 years old with an 18-9-1 record, 13 finishes. He briefly held the Cage Warriors Featherweight belt but lost it in his first defence. He’s coming into this fight off 3 straight wins though, with the last one being as recent as late July. Looking through his record, there are a couple of recognisable names. He went 5 rounds with Soren Bak in 2019 and lost a majority decision. Bak beat Paddy Pimblett in his fight before that and is the last man to beat Pimblett to this day (although Jared Gordon ‘unofficially’ beat him in December). Charriere also scored a submission win over William Gomis back in 2016. Zecchini is Italian, 26 years old and 11-3 with 9 finishes. He’s won his last couple of fights but has been inactive now since last October.

 

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Taylor Lapilus vs Caolan Loughran is another switch up. Lapilus was originally matched up against Muin Gafurov but Gafurov withdrew due to visa issues. And Loughran was supposed to face Yanis Ghemmouri but was pulled from that fight for this. Right old fuck about but hopefully that’s it for card changes now. I quite like the sound of this actually.

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Lapilus returns to the UFC. He was supposed to fight on last year’s Paris show but had to pull out with a broken hand. I’ll be honest, I hardly remember his first UFC stint. He’s a name I’m vaguely familiar with and I’ve definitely seen a few of his fights over the years but it’s fuzzy. He last fought in the UFC back in 2015/16, so it’s been a while. He’s a rare case of a guy who actually left the UFC on a win as well. Not sure why. He went 3-1 in his first run in the UFC. Of course, they’ve brought him back now because he’s French and they’re finally breaking into that market. Timing is everything and it’s fallen nicely for Lapilus. But looking at his record, he’s been putting the graft in and has earned another shot on merit. He’s 18-3 now, coming off 5 straight wins, and he’s gone 7-1 since his last trip to the Octagon. He’s won Bantamweight titles in the GMC promotion in Germany, the TKO promotion in Canada and the Ares promotion in France. He’s been busy. Loughran is Irish and currently undefeated at 8-0 with 7 finishes. He became the Cage Warriors 135lb champion in his last fight in May, knocking out Dylan Hazan in Italy. I’ll give it a bash.

 

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Ange Loosa vs Rhys McKee. Don’t know. Could be good. Loosa’s 9-3 with 6 finishes and beat AJ Fletcher on points in his last fight a year ago. I remember that being a fun one actually. He also has a win over ex UFC fighter John ‘Doomsday’ Howard last year in the XMMA fed and went the distance with Jack Della Maddalena on DWCS in 2021. Ireland’s Rhys McKee’s UFC return is where the interest lies here though.

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“This to me is the real debut. This is the one where I announce myself on the world stage the way I know I can. I feel I’m the best version of myself that I’ve ever been, and I’m ready to get in there and shine.” - Rhys McKee

He initially came into the UFC in 2020 and immediately got fed to Khamzat Chimaev. Not ideal. Khamzat squashed him in 3 minutes and then McKee lost a decision to Alex Morono and that was that. The UFC cut him loose. He’s since gone away, gone 3-0 with 3 finishes and won the Cage Warriors belt. Fair play. He stopped Jim Wallhead in his last fight in April. He’s 13-4-1 now with 13 finishes and still only 27 years old. Nice to see him get another shot.

 

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Nora Cornolle vs Joselyne Edwards. Not a clue. Never seen Cornolle. Looking her up she’s French, 33 years old and has a record of 6-1 with 5 knockouts. The loss was her MMA debut so she’s on a 6 fight streak now. Don’t recognise any of the names she’s beat though. Edwards has fought in the UFC a bunch of times. 27 years old, from Panama, 13-4 record. Nothing to write home about. She’s won her last 3 fights but most thought she lost her last one against Lucie Pudilova. Pure filler but the crowd will probably be more into it than it deserves because there’s a home fighter involved.

 

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Farid Basharat vs Kleydson Rodrigues could be good. I’ve quite liked the little I’ve seen of the Basharat brothers. From Afghanistan originally but moved to the UK as kids and settled in London. And ‘Ferocious’ Farid is looking good so far. He’s undefeated at 10-0 with 6 finishes and beat Da’Mon Blackshear in his UFC debut in March. It wasn’t an amazing fight but a solid showing for Farid in his first Octagon appearance. Rodrigues will probably give us a better look at him though because he’s a scrappy little sod and will be looking to make it a barnburner. He’s 27 years old with a record of 8-2 and is coming off a 59 second TKO finish over Shannon Ross in February. Student of Big Nog as well so he’s good in my book.

 

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Zarah Fairn vs Jacqueline Cavalcanti is a nothing fight that’s here purely because Fairn is French. Well I think she is. Wikipedia has her nationality as French, Sherdog has her as Swedish and she was born in Brazil. Regardless, she’s crap. She’s 6-5 and comes into this fight off 3 straight losses, 2 of them stoppages in the first round. She’s gone winless in the UFC, she’s barely been active and she’ll be 37 this year. It’s going nowhere. Cavalcanti makes her debut here. She’s 25 years old, Portuguese and has a record of 5-1 with 3 knockouts. She won the LFA belt in her last fight in April, winning a 5 round decision. Sounds like they’re trying to use Fairn as a bit of a sacrificial lamb here, which is odd with her being the home fighter but whatever.

 

Merci. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Love the look of this. I've been following Cage Warriors and Ares over in France and this card has some names debuting that have really caught my eye.

Morgan Charriere is a bit of a big deal in French MMA so great to see him debut. He's got a bit of a social media/influencer type following going on and brings some noisy fans with him, he'll be fun to watch.

Great to see Rhys McKee back too. Had a disastrous UFC run but got back on the horse, took hard fights, won a belt and gets invited back. Lovely stuff.

Between this show, Ares selling out arenas and the PFL making a move into France I expect this to be a pretty hot show, should be good.

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Latest lineup for Saturday’s card. They’ve had to shuffle it up a bit. 

• Lucas Almeida is injured and out of his scheduled fight against William Gomis.

• Muin Gafurov is out of the fight with Taylor Lapilus with visa problems.

So they’ve scrapped the planned battle of Octagon newcomers Caolan Loughran and Yanis Ghemmouri and now we’ve got Gomis vs Ghemmouri and Lapilus vs Loughran. 

Hopefully this’ll stay intact now because fucking hell. 

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It’s weird but that fight wasn’t even on the card until a few days ago, I barely recall Lapilus and I don’t think I’ve seen Loughran fight. Yet it’s probably the fight I’m most interested in now just based on little bits I’ve read and the weigh in face-off. Probably would’ve been my ‘one to watch’ if it was on the card when I made the thread.

There’s something a bit Tommy Robinson looking to me about Loughran though 😏

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Yeah Loughran is a bit of a blind spot for me in UK MMA. I've watched a fair bit of Cage Warriors in the last couple of years but Loughran has always evaded me. He looks like he's going to be a fun fighter to follow though love or hate, and that's never a bad thing.

 

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I can't believe we have two weeks in a row where we get a UFC show at a decent time for us here in the UK. Nothing will beat last week's time like but this is not shabby at all.

Not loads on this I'm super excited for but that main event is going to be good, I don't dislike gane but tomorrow we will see him get knocked out by spivak because I now believe that man will be going for the title very very soon 

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16 hours ago, Kfogg1991 said:

I don't dislike gane but tomorrow we will see him get knocked out by spivak 

I doubt Spivac knocks Gane out. He’s much more of a mauling grappler and I can’t see him wanting to stand and strike with a kickboxer like Gane much. He’ll surely be looking to take Gane down and drag him about and make it a miserable experience for him until a submission opportunity opens up. Closest you’ll probably get to a knockout from Spivac would be a ground and pound TKO or something. 

No doubt I’ve gone and jinxed it now and Spivac will bust out a flying, spinning wheel kick KO now.

Here’s the (hopefully) final bout order and the lovely UK friendly start times…

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Yeah not a bad show all in all. Some nice finishes and strong performances from the French lot but it was one of those cards where the crowd just elevated the whole thing. Very much reminded me of that mad Dublin card in 2014 with the McGregor vs Brandao headliner where the overall atmosphere and vibe, created by the rabid crowd, made the event much better than it had any right to be. This was probably the best crowd since Dublin ‘14 as well.

Nice to see Ciryl Gane bounce back from that embarrassing performance against Jones with a big stoppage win here. I really thought Spivac might be a tricky rebound fight for him here but it didn’t play out how I thought at all.

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🤣 Gane has to be one of the most awkward finishers ever. That gif doesn’t do it justice. Standing hammerfists and backfists, the lot. When he goes for the kill it’s like he completely loses all sense of coordination. But he got it done. Hit Spivac with some nasty stuff and put him away.

Really thought Spivac would push the clinch and takedowns more. It’s why I was fancying him to beat Gane here. The blueprint on beating Gane is clear at this point. The grappling is a big glaring weakness in his game and both Ngannou and Jones have exploited that in different ways. Obviously Spivac is several steps below that level but given that his strengths are in the grappling, this really looked like a winnable fight for him on paper. But Gane did a good job defending his first couple of takedown attempts and it was like Spivac just kind of went into his shell at that point and accepted the inevitable beating he had coming on the feet. You could almost see his confidence shrink when Gane avoided that first takedown. All downhill from there. 

To read Twitter you’d still think Gane is the worst Heavyweight in MMA history though. I find the Gane hate a bit weird. He’s got his flaws without a doubt but there’s way, way worse in that clown show of a division. It’s like he gets held to this weird higher standard where it’s either you’re perfect and flawless or you’re utter shite. No grey area. I’d understand if he was a dick but he seems a likeable guy outside the cage. Worst thing about Gane fight weeks now is all the little Twitter Greg Jackson’s constantly telling you how awful he is and how he should do x, y and z to improve his technique and shit. Worst kind of fans going. I get criticism and a fighter’s style maybe not being your cup of tea but I don’t really get why there’s such hostility and negativity where Gane’s concerned. Don’t know how common this stuff is but I’ve noticed a fair bit of it for Gane’s last few fights now. Thought maybe I’m just following too many miserable fuckers but a lot of these tweets end up on my timeline from accounts I don’t even follow.

Doesn’t sound like Gane is too keen on that Aspinall fight though, does it? Seemed like he proper swerved that question when Bisping asked him after the fight. Aspinall’s saying the UFC didn’t let him go in the cage last night as well…

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Seems a bit weird. Unless they’ve got something else planned for Aspinall. I saw a quote from Aspinall the other day saying he wants to fight Sergei Pavlovich next. That’s the one isn’t it? Obviously we’ve got this Jones vs Stipe thing in November but that one still doesn’t seem real. I’m not entirely convinced it even happens but if it does,  they’re both probably retiring after. Aspinall vs Pavlovich feels like it’s gonna end up being the battle to crown the new champion after this Jones vs Stipe thing runs its course. Don’t know where that leaves Gane. 

Fiorot vs Namajunas was what it was. Wasn’t the worst fight I’ve ever seen or anything but I didn’t really get into it. Rose was at least way more active than she was the last time we saw her in that fucking stinker against Esparza. Genuinely think she threw more strikes in the first 3 minutes last night than she did the whole 25 minutes against Esparza no joke. I quite enjoyed the first round but it kind of tapered off after that and they fell into a bit of a pattern where they’d get into these exchanges but nothing of any real significance or consequence happened. Although in fairness to Rose…

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🤢 Apparently that happened in the first round so it’s understandable why her effectiveness dipped as the fight went on. Fiorot came away with the W but I don’t know. Going in it felt like if Fiorot could beat a name and former champ like Rose here, especially in front of a home crowd, it would be her coming out party and her big breakthrough moment. Yet here we are a day after the fight, she did beat Rose in front of a home crowd and it just feels a bit meh. It’s been the case with most of her fights as well where she looks so strong and imposing in there but the performances themselves just leave me cold and underwhelmed. I’m not sure what they do next. You’ve got Fiorot and Erin Blanchfield now both coming off wins that look like big wins on paper but neither really made a definitive statement that they’re next in line. We’ll see what happens with Grasso vs Shev 2 in a couple of weeks, I guess. If Shev wins, I’m guessing we go straight into the rubber match and if that happens they’ll likely just go ahead and make Fiorot vs Blanchfield to determine a true #1 contender. If Grasso goes 2-0 over Shevchenko though, they have to make a choice between Fiorot and Blanchfield as the next challenger and I’m not sure which way they’ll lean.

Benoit Saint-Denis was like a man possessed here. Just overwhelmed and absolutely battered the piss out of Thiago Moises, who I really thought would be a tricky test for him.

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Crushed him. This got FOTN and rightly so but it was almost one way traffic. Moises fought hard and he was trying but it was a bit of a mugging really. Saint-Denis has snuck up with little fanfare and if it wasn’t for them cracking into the French market he’d probably be just another card filler and wasted at the Apex. But he’s probably been the guy whose profile has benefitted most from these first couple of Paris cards. He had a really strong showing on the first one stopping Gabriel Miranda, went to Vegas and completely derailed the hype train of Ismael Bonfim in July, then returned to Paris and made a mess of Moises. He’s really turned a corner and levelled up over his last few fights. Considering his UFC debut saw him suffer a horrific pasting so bad that the ref got pulled from reffing duties for the rest of the night for not stopping it, and I don’t think the UFC have used him since. To turn things around the way he has is really something. Like I say, his career turnaround likely would’ve gone under the radar had he not had these big homecoming nights in Paris. He should get a bit of a juicy fight next time out. He’s earned it. Not sure who that would be. I heard him name dropping Fiziev and Gamrot in his post-fight interview. They’re fighting each other at the end of this month so I’m guessing he’s eyeing the winner of that. Would be fun but I doubt he gets that fight. If I had my way I’d let him murder Paddy but you know they’re not doing that 🤣

Volkan Oezdemir gave Bogdan Guskov a rude welcome to the UFC.

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Made short work of him. First time he’s actually lived up to the ‘No Time’ nickname in years. Nothing much to read into this. It was an inoffensive and fairly enjoyable few minutes but Guskov looked very sloppy and I can’t see him having much success going forward. Even in a weird and shallow division like 205 is these days. Probably be good for a few midcard slugfests on the European shows for a bit but nothing more than that. Don’t know what Oezdemir does from here. He’s been floundering for years now but this win will have bought him a few more fights. Wouldn’t be surprised if they chuck him in with Anthony Smith again or something.

William Gomis vs Yanis Ghemmouri, what a balls up (pun intended) this turned out to be. Once again, as is becoming a habit with Gomis, little of note happened for the first two rounds. Frustrating fighter to watch because you can see he’s got some skills, it’s not like he’s bad technically, but he’s not much good to watch. And it was my first time seeing Ghemmouri and he wasn’t any better. I’d heard these two had sparred in the past and this just felt like they were continuing their sparring but in front of thousands of paying customers. Then the third round came and…

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A week after the Usyk vs Dubois thing, this shit again. I definitely thought this was low though. Yeah it wasn’t a direct, flush shin to the bollocks but it was clearly below the belt and the foot clearly hit the cup and then dragged it up. No controversy there for me. It was low. I’m not as down on Bisping’s commentary as some but he was chatting shite here. At least Gooden and Felder were talking sense. The main problem with this was the ref just immediately waved the fight off and called it a TKO win for Gomis. Whether you thought it was low or not, the ref just stopping the fight straight away rather than telling them to fight on was a strange one. The only defence I’ve seen is that Ghemmouri kind of turned his back and the ref could’ve seen that as grounds to stop the fight but it just felt off. Regardless of what Bisping was saying and what the ref thought, Ghemmouri got hit in the cup and wasn’t given any opportunity to either recover or even just try to fight through it. It’s a harsh way to lose your UFC debut however you look at it.

Morgan Charriere kicked off, literally kicked off, the main card in style. First time seeing him fight and it was one of those UFC debuts that will leave an impression. First round finish and the body kicks were brutal…

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Lifted Zecchini clean off his feet with that second one. Horrible. No putting a brave face on that shit. As UFC debuts go, Charriere really couldn’t have dreamed of a better one, could he? A proper highlight reel first round finish like that, in front of that crowd, just perfect. Not sure what’s next or how far he can go but it feels like there’s endless possibilities for fun matchups with him at 145.

Taylor Lapilus vs Caolan Loughran wasn’t that great a fight in the end but the crowd being so molten for it kind of made up for it. Wasn’t a terrible fight but for all the attitude from Loughran going in, even right up to his walk-in where he came out with his back to the crowd and no entrance music, just soaking up the boos, then flipping off the crowd again like he did at the weigh in etc…

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All that just to try and cagehump his way to a decision win was a bit of an anti-climax. This was my first time seeing him fight but from the clips I saw of him in Cage Warriors, I don’t think this is his typical style. Maybe a bit of the old Octagon jitters at play but he didn’t back up the pre-fight swagger at all here. Lapilus didn’t blow anyone away with his performance either and, although I definitely felt he won, he spent a lot of time with his arse pressed against the fence and you never know how the judges are gonna score when there’s a lot of that. Glad the right man won though. Crowd was mega into this and the Benoit Saint-Denis fight probably more than anything else on the card.

Ange Loosa vs Rhys McKee was a fun scrap. Tough break for McKee in what was supposed to be his big redemption story and a triumphant return. Felt like little adjustments here and there could’ve turned it around and the couple of times he went to the body, Loosa clearly didn’t like it. Could’ve paid off for him if he went all in on that but Loosa just got the better of enough of the fight to take the decision. Enjoyed it.

Barely watched the Nora Cornolle vs Joselyne Edwards fight. Just had it on in the background but the consensus opinion seems to be that it was a dodgy hometown decision for Cornolle. Don’t know. Didn’t look like either were exactly shining from the bits I did catch but the fact such a passionate French crowd was booing the home fighter when the verdict was read spoke volumes.

Farid Basharat looked class subbing Kleydson Rodrigues in a round. Really starting to like these Basharat brothers. Think both have legit potential. Wasn’t amazed by Farid’s debut but he looked right at home here and made what could’ve been a tough fight look like a cakewalk. Good stuff. I feel like I’m saying it after every single card these days but yet another great addition to a constantly improving Bantamweight division.

Stuck the Fight Pass prelims on right from the start but never paid much attention at all to the Cavalcanti vs Fairn curtain jerker. Fairn is surely a goner now. Surely. I don’t wish anyone out of a job but she’s useless. 0-4 in the UFC now, rarely fights, isn’t even entertaining to watch when she does fight, now has a 6-6 overall record and at 37 in a few months, there’s no upside or future there. All that said, Cavalcanti not being able to put her away doesn’t fill me with optimism for her potential either. This was her debut though so maybe there’s better to come.


Quite a night for the French. Pretty much a clean sweep. Only two frogs lost and one was to another French fighter in controversial fashion, the other was no hoper Zarah Fairn who they probably don’t claim anyway. Aside from that, the crowd went home well happy. 

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