After witnessing Leon Edwards become the new welterweight champion at UFC London. It's safe to say that everyone needed a week off and move to Paris, where hometown favorite Cyril Gane welcomes Tai Tuivasa in what undoubtedly will be a fun fight to watch. Tuivasa is on a five-fight winning streak, with three fights ending inside the distance by KO. Gane comes into this fight after challenging ex-teammate Francis Ngannou for the belt. 

 

Below, I break down the main card fights from a betting perspective and point out what I feel are the best bets for each contest. For the prelims I will do a brief breakdown followed by a best bet as well. All the odds are from BetMGM

Gane vs. Tuivasa Odds

Cyril Gane -550, Tai Tuivasa +400

Gane and Tuivasa will determine the No. 1 contender in the heavyweight division. Gane is a -550 favorite, which makes sense if you've ever watched Bom Gamin fight. An anomaly in the heavyweight division, Gane is a perfect example of technique, size and speed, and every time he steps into the octagon, he shows a new wrinkle in his game. After going undefeated in his first seven fights in the promotion, Gane was given a title shot against former teammate Francis Ngannou. To everyone's surprise, Gane lost by unanimous decision and didn't quite look like himself. Ngannou’s power kept Gane from taking chances and caused him to take a reserved approach that didn't help him on the scorecards. Tuivasa is a +400 underdog. A brawler by nature, Tuivasa exploded into the UFC, winning his first two fights by knockout and then beating future Hall of Famer Andrei Arlovski by unanimous decision. Soon after, he would experience a three-fight losing streak that almost put him on the chopping block. He ended the streak by sending Stefan Struve into retirement, then took a year off, claiming he needed to fix his world outside of the cage before he could continue. Since his return from sabbatical, Tuivasa has won five fights and seems to have found his stride. He hasn't changed much in his game regarding new techniques but has been more patient and fights less like a drunken brawler and more like an athlete with a plan. From a betting perspective, I think Gane will win and finish Tuivasa inside the distance. Gane is simply too fast and athletic and will not fight as he did against Francis. He knows Tuivasa packs a punch, but the variety of strikes and angles will be too much for Tuivasa in Paris. I'd also take a stab at having Gane finish the fight in Rounds 1 or 2. 

Bet: Cyril Gane wins ITD -180

Whittaker vs. Vetorri Odds

Robert Whittaker -225, Martin Vettori +185

Whittaker/Vettori could be the fight of the night at UFC Paris. Whittaker recently challenged Israel Adesanya for the middleweight strap back in February. It would be Whittaker’s second attempt at beating Adesanya and has been voted one of the best fights in 2022. Vettori hasn't been in the octagon for nearly a year and fought Paulo Costa to a five-round unanimous decision win. The fight was considered one of the best fights of 2021, and Vettori looked great, mixing his pressure style of fighting with takedowns, making it difficult for costa to ever get started. Whittaker and Vettori are identical regarding height and reach; they are also similar in their output as both average slightly over 4 significant strikes landed per minute. They also use their movement well and defend 60% of strikes thrown their way. Where they differ is in the takedown department. Vettori averages 2.04 takedowns per 15 minutes, while Whittaker averages a mere 0.83. I see this fight going similarly to the fight between Jacare and Whittaker. Whittaker stayed outside and used his karate-style movement to attack and negate all takedowns from the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist. He eventually caught Jacare and ended the fight in the second round. Although I don't think he will find a finish against the durable Vetorri, I believe that Robert Whittaker can negate the takedown attempts and find a finish late or win on the scorecards unanimously. From a betting perspective, I'm going to take Whittaker to win in Round 3 or by decision. 

Bet: Robert Whittaker in Round 3 or dec. -155

Di Chirico vs. Kopylov Odds

Alessio Di Chirico -110, Roman Kopylov -110

This fight features two fighters on the chopping block. Di Chirico is 1-4 in his last five fights and is coming back from an ACL injury. Kopylov has yet to taste victory in the UFC, as his debut in 2019 and fight in 2021 did not go his way, and he looked like a fighter not ready for the stage. Kopylov averages 2.72 significant strikes per minute, and when I was watching tape, it looked like less than that. A master of sport in combat, Kopylov is capable of striking and even wrestling, but in his first two fights in the UFC just hasn't pulled the trigger and, outside of being durable, looked terrible. Di Chirico came into the UFC with a 9-0 record and impressed many with a well-rounded game that includes a good wrestling base and gives him the confidence to stand and bang with anyone. After suffering a devastating injury against Abdul Razak Alhassan, Di Chirico is determined and looking to get back into the win column. Kopylov and Di Chirico are identical in height and reach, and where they differ will make the difference in this fight. The output of Di Chirico is slightly better at 3.30 significant strikes per minute. He also averages 1.62 takedowns per 15 minutes, which will come in handy late in the fight when both fighters are bloody and tired. With both fighters on a losing streak and possibly even on the chopping block, I expect this fight to be spectacular and potentially even the fight of the night. Both fighters are durable and will do everything they can to win and stay in the UFC. From a betting perspective, I'll be siding with Di Chirico at -110 and think that his wrestling will make a difference and edge out a late stoppage or decision win. 

Bet: Alessio Di Chirico ML -110

Haqparast vs. Makdessi Odds

Nasrat Haqparast -225, John Makdessi +190

Haqparast sits at -225 odds as I write this, while Makdessi is at +190. Nasrat averages 5.17 significant strikes per minute, but in his last fight seemed concerned with the power of Bobby Green and fought reserved and paid for it. He has often been compared to Kelvin Gastelum because of his appearance. Nasrat brings accuracy and high output when he fights and blends kicks and hand strikes well, with his left hand being the power shot that can change any fight at a moment's notice. Averaging a mere 0.13 takedowns per 15 minutes, Haqparast doesn't look to take fights to the ground and instead defends takedowns 78% of the time. His last fight was only six months ago, and since he wasn't injured, he opted for the quick turnaround in hopes of getting out of the loss column and back on track. Makdessi last fought in 2021, where he edged out a split decision win against Ignacio Bahamondes. Since coming onto the scene in 2010, Makdessi has fought an average of once a year; his inactivity and lack of social media presence may lead to many UFC fans not even knowing that Makdessi has been in the UFC for 12 years. Many of the fighters he fought are no longer in the promotion, and at 37 years old, perhaps durability is his best quality. In this match, Makdessi is not the faster fighter but makes up for it with experience, power, and pressure-forward fighting style, averaging 5.57 significant strikes per minute. Taking into consideration the durability of Makdessi, I expect Nasrat to win this fight and possibly find his counter left hand late in the third for a KO stoppage or on the judges’ scorecards unanimously. 

Bet: Nasrat Haqparast in Round 3 or by decision -110

Gomis vs. Errens Odds

William Gomis -225, Jarno Errens +180

This fight features two newcomers in Gomis and Errens. Gomis a native of Paris and is making his debut two months after winning by KO/TKO in the Ares fight promotion. Errens is taking this fight on two weeks' notice after winning his last fight by unanimous decision on the Brave FC Promotion. Gomis is a -225 favorite, while Errens is +180. At 6-foot-0, Gomis has a 73-inch reach; he fights with a lot of movement and keeps opponents at the end of his strikes. Gomis uses athleticism to get out of bad positions, dominate and look for a finish when the fight hits the ground. Gomis has 3 finishes by KO, 5 by submission and 5 by decision and averages a fight time of 9 minutes. A real prospect and a future star in the UFC, I believe Gomis will make a statement this weekend in front of his hometown crowd. Errens is courageous for taking this fight on two weeks' notice, and he does have a good game, but I expect Gomis to be too much for Errens and find a finish by KO/TKO or submission.

Bet: William Gomis by KO/TKO or submission +165

 

Wood vs. Jourdain Odds

Charles Jourdain -140, Nathaniel Wood +115

These two competitors literally fought a month ago, but these men are ready to light up the octagon when they kick off the main card in Paris. Wood is 3-2 in his last five fights in the UFC, and after a dominant performance over Charles Rosa three weeks ago, he takes on the always-dangerous Canadian Jourdain. This fight is a coin flip, and come fight night, I expect the lines to be close to identical, around -110. Both fighters are coming off battles that went the distance recently; tying in that they also had to travel for this fight adds another hurdle to overcome. as veterans of the sport, I expect these athletes to always stay ready and still put on a show this weekend. Both fighters average near or over 6 significant strikes landed per minute and are also very accurate in landing 50% of the time. I believe Wood may have an advantage on the ground, as Jourdain attempts 0.00 takedowns per 15 minutes and only defends takedowns 50% of the time. On the other hand, Wood attempts 1.24 takedowns per 15 minutes and defends 76% of takedown attempts. With both averaging over 12 minutes of fight time, I expect this fight to be fireworks for all three rounds. Give me Wood to match Jourdain's high pace and work in his takedowns every round to find a late finish or edge out a decision on the cards.

Bet: Nathaniel Wood ML +115

Stoltzfus vs. Magomedov Odds

Dustin Stoltzfus +255, Abus Magomedov -265

Magomedov is making his UFC debut in Paris against Contender Series alum Dustin Stoltzfus. Stoltzfus doesn’t have many avenues to victory — he does possess some power in his hands but mostly looks to grapple and keep his opponents on the ground. He averages 11:51 of fight time with 1.77 takedowns per 15 minutes and upset Dwight Grant in his last fight, blended his strikes and grappling well, and dominated grant on the ground, leading to a unanimous decision win. While Grant may not have had the answer for the grappling of Stoltzfus, I expect that Magomedov, who fights out of Dagestan, will have a solution for Stoltzfus’ grapple-heavy gameplan and make his debut a masterpiece. He has a height advantage of two inches and a reach advantage of three inches. Magomedov has 13 wins by KO and 6 by submission, and I expect him to be better everywhere. I don’t see this fight going to the judges and will take Magomedov to win by KO/TKO or submission.

Bet: Abus Magomedov by KO/TKO or submission +130

Ziam vs. Figlak Odds

Fares Ziam +165, Michal Figlak -200

Half of the Figlak brothers, Michal made a name for himself in cage warriors and brought an aggressive style of great boxing, wrestling and durability. Ziam has had four fights in the UFC and made his debut in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242. Famous on the regional scene for his technically sound striking skills, Fares can be exposed if he's forced to wrestle. He does boast a 68% takedown defense rate, but if he doesn't keep this fight standing and at a distance, I can see it being a bad night for him. Figlak will have to keep Ziam on his back foot and close the distance, so Ziam can't surprise him with any kicks. If he successfully keeps it close and takes fares down to the ground, I believe Figlak can have multiple takedowns on his way to a unanimous decision win. This is technically a grappler-versus-striker battle, except the grappler (Figlak) can box, and if he can close the distance on Ziam, he will win and make it look easy. Because I believe this fight will have to be on the ground for Figlak, I will take him to win by submission or points.

Bet: Michal Figlak by submission or points -150

Imavov vs. Buckley Odds

Nassourdine Imavov -275, Joaquin Buckley +220

Out of all the dogs on this fight card, none scream louder than Joaquin Buckley. Imavov has a height advantage, but his reach advantage over Buckley is only by an inch. The power difference and explosiveness also go to Buckley when comparing fighters. Imavov will have to be perfect for 15 minutes if he hopes to stop or beat Buckley in front of his hometown crowd. I will sit back and enjoy this fight and not place a bet; instead, I will be going with a prop and taking this fight to go the distance. Imavov has only been stopped once in his career, and with a 64% takedown defense rate and a 54% striking defensive rate, I believe both fighters will put on a show and find out who is on the cards.

Bet: Imavov vs. Buckley FGTD +154

Miranda vs. Saint-Denis Odds

Benoit Saint-Denis -275, Gabriel Miranda +220

These two fighters are both relatively new to the UFC. Both fighters combined for 23 wins by submission with an average fight time of 11 minutes. Saint-Denis opened and currently sits at -275 as a moderate favorite, and Miranda opened and currently sits at +220. Both fighters are coming off impressive wins in their last fights, and from a betting perspective, I believe that Miranda is live as a dog but will be siding with the ex-special forces agent to get the win by submission or points in front of a hometown crowd.

Bet: Benoit Saint-Denis by sub or points -120

Taha vs. Quinonez Odds

Christian Quinonez +100, Khalid Taha -130

Another live dog is available in the second fight of the night in Paris. Fighting out of Entram gym, Quinonez has no shortage of high-level talent testing him daily. Outside of Taha’s boxing and powerful right hand, I don’t see that much of an advantage for Taha. Quinonez boasts a 100% takedown defensive rate, and I don’t see this fight being dominated on the ground by Taha much, and I’ll take Quinonez in the dog spot.

Bet: Christian Quinonez ML +100

Perez vs. Egger Odds

Stephanie Egger -275, Ailin Perez +240

If Egger didn’t just lose to Mayra Bueno Silva two weeks ago, I would probably be more confident betting her in this spot to win by submission or points. But instead of losing money as I did two weeks ago by trusting Egger, I will fade the fight entirely and wish both fighters luck. This fight is a no-bet for me, and I’ll be fading Egger and the battle in this spot.

Bet: No bet