UFC Fight Night Paris 2023 Preview and Predictions

The UFC is set to return to Paris this weekend with a Fight Night card featuring top-ranked Heavyweights. Ciryl Gane is coming off his Heavyweight title loss to Jon Jones and will be fighting in his native country of France. Sergey “The Polar Bear” Spivak is a dominant grappler from Moldova who has stopped three straight opponents inside the distance. In the Co-Main event, former UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas will be moving up in weight for her first fight at 125 pounds. Namajunas will face surging French contender Manon Fiorot, who is undefeated in her UFC career (5-0). Also on the card, UFC veteran Thiago Moises takes on former military veteran Benoit St. Dennis in a Lightweight contest. Since moving down to 155-pounds St. Dennis is (3-0) in his UFC career.

#2 Ciryl Gane (11-2) vs. #7 Sergey Spivak (16-3):

The Main event of UFC Paris is an interesting stylistic matchup between striker and grappler. Two-time UFC title challenger Ciryl Gane is a former Muay Thai World Champion who has incredible movement and agility for a Heavyweight. Spivak dominates opponents on the ground with his crushing top pressure and ground and pound. Since losing to top contender Tom Aspinall in 2021, Spivak submitted Derrick Lewis while also knocking out Greg Hardy and Augusto Sakai on his three-fight streak. Gane was submitted by Jon Jones in March and needs a win this weekend to stay in title contention.

On the feet, Gane will have a significant advantage in both power and speed. Gane has some of the best kicks in the division and will be a problem for Spivak at kickboxing range. Spivak will want to close the distance and force Gane towards the fence, where he can look for takedown attempts against the cage. Spivak’s striking has improved but he will be playing a dangerous game if he chooses to stand with Gane in this matchup. On the ground, Gane was dominated by Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and will need to show improvement in his takedown defense. Former Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou was also able to take Gane down in their highly competitive title fight.

Both fighters have a clear path to victory but the story of this fight comes down to the takedown. If Spivak is successful it will be on the ground. If Gane can stop the takedown attempts of his opponent he can utilize his extreme athleticism and finish this fight on the feet. This is a very close contest with online sportsbooks slightly favoring Gane at (-190).

Prediction: Ciryl Gane by KO/TKO

#3 Manon Fiorot (10-1) vs. #2 (Strawweight) “Thug” Rose Namajunas (12-5):

The Co-Main event of UFC Fight Night Paris showcases top women’s talent at 125 pounds. Former Strawweight World Champion Rose Namajunas is moving up in weight for her first fight in the Flyweight division. Namajunas will fight top French contender Manon Fiorot, who is currently undefeated in her UFC career. Fiorot is a well-rounded prospect and will be two inches taller than Namajunas. In her last fight, Fiorot defeated former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian by Unanimous decision. Namajunas lost her title in a lackluster fight against Carla Esparza and stated that she needed a change of scenery from 115 pounds. Namajunas will compete against a fresh face in this contest as Fiorot is on the doorstep of a title opportunity.

Currently, online sportsbooks are favoring Fiorot (-190) in this Co-main event matchup. Fiorot will be the physically stronger fighter and may have more power in her punches. Namajunas is a skilled technical kickboxer who excels at distance. Fiorot has six wins by knockout on her record and has never been finished. Namajunas is 3-2 in her last five fights and is taking a major risk moving up in weight. If “Thug Rose” is able to pull off a victory she will immediately be thrown into title contention.

Prediction: Manon Fiorot by Decision

Benoit St. Dennis (11-1) vs Thiago Moises (17-6):

The featured fight of the card is a Lightweight showdown between contenders looking to enter the UFC top 15 rankings. Benoit St. Dennis is undefeated since moving down to 155 pounds and has impressed in his short time in the UFC. Moises is a UFC veteran who has faced top competition such as Beniel Dariush, Damir Ismagulov, and Lightweight Champion Islam Makachev. St. Dennis made his debut at 170 pounds against Brazilian finisher Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos. In that matchup, St. Dennis showed tremendous heart against a top-level fighter in his UFC debut, up a weight class from where he competes naturally. Moises is a Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt who has won eight fights by submission.

Both of these fighters are talented grapplers, so this contest may take place standing. The ground games of both fighters may even each other out resulting in a stand-up striking affair. If that is the case I favor St. Dennis who has a tremendous chin and a three-inch advantage in reach. St. Dennis has a tremendous frame for the weight class at 5’11 but will be facing the toughest test of his career on Saturday morning. Moises is 3-2 in his last five fights and is a slight betting underdog (+140) at online sportsbooks.

Prediction: Benoit St. Dennis by Decision 

UFC Fight Night Paris Prelims:

The UFC Fight Night Paris Prelims are filled with top talent from all across Europe. French Featherweights William Gomis (12-2) and Yanis Ghemmouri (12-1) collide on the Paris prelims. Gomis is 6’0 at 145 pounds and has tremendous length for the division. Ghemmouri is making his UFC debut but was a standout in the Middle East promotion Brave FC.

Prediction: Gomis by Decision

Afghanistan’s top prospect Farid Basharat (10-0) returns after defeating Damon Blackshear in his UFC debut. This time Basharat will face Brazilian Kleidison Rodrigues (8-2). Rodrigues impressed last time out finishing Shannon Ross in under a minute. Basharat has an impressive ground game and five submission wins on his record. Online sportsbooks have Basharat as the largest favorite on the card at (-400).

Prediction: Farid Basharat by Submission

UFC Fight Night Paris will start early Saturday morning. The prelims will begin at 11:30 a.m. CST, with the main card kicking off at 2 p.m. CST.

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