The UFC heads to Paris, France, this weekend and brings a load of hometown talent, including the headlining matchup at Heavyweight with French standout Ciryl Gane -182 taking on Serghei Spivac +140. I went over the entire card and gave my picks and best bets, so let's get into it.
Odds Provided by Stake.com Accurate as of 8/31/2023 2:00 PM EST
A Heavyweight clash of styles goes down in our main event. Ciryl Gane is one of the best strikers we have ever seen in the Heavyweight division with his incredible movement and timing with a diverse attack, his weak point has been obvious, as he has significantly struggled when forced to wrestle. Serghei Spivac is a fantastic wrestler who has a great ability to chain his takedowns together, although his striking and cardio are not great.
It is hard to trust Gane as a favorite against a wrestler, but he should take this one as he has a massive speed and striking edge.
Pick: Gane O/U: Under 2.5
Intriguing matchup at Flyweight that should have a significant impact on the title picture. Manon Fiorot is a strong kickboxer who has passed every test she has been given, having faced several former title challengers and looking a step ahead. Rose Namajunas returns here up a weight class, and she has produced some of the most spectacular performances in UFC history; however, she is also coming off possibly the least spectacular fight ever against Carla Esparza, where she looked very hesitant to engage.
I have been very high on Fiorot her entire career, and I will trust her again here as her striking matches up well, and she can defend any grappling from Namajunas.
Pick: Fiorot O/U: Over 2.5
This is a Lightweight matchup that should feature very fun grappling exchanges. Benoit Saint-Denis burst onto the scene with a huge underdog win over Ismael Bonfim, where he showed his extremely high-level grappling game; he is also as tough as they come as he displayed in his debut at Welterweight against Elizeu Zaleski. Thiago Moises is a great submission grappler who has only lost to top-level competition; he can get off to slow starts at times, which is concerning.
This fight is very interesting as the momentum is on the side of Saint-Denis, which is why he is the favorite, but this is a significant shift in how he is viewed after being an underdog against a less proven fighter his last time out. With that, I'll pick Moises at this price as he can counter the pressure game of Saint-Denis with his own well-rounded game.
Pick: Moises O/U: Over 2.5
Light Heavyweight firefight between an established veteran and a fresh newcomer. Volkan Oezdemir has competed at the top of the division for a long time, although he has noticeably slowed since the days when he was knocking out many feared opponents in round one. Bogdan Guskov is an aggressive big puncher, although his level of competition leaves many questions about his ability to compete at the highest level.
I've got Oezdemir to get the knockout here, as he is on a much higher level than Guskov and will show it very early in this one.
Pick: Oezdemir O/U: Under 1.5
One of several matchup switches on the card here at Featherweight. William Gomis is a tall kickboxer who has won both his UFC fights but not without some struggles, having been nearly submitted several times. Yanis Ghemmouri takes this change of opponents here with a shift in divisions as well, now fighting a weight class higher than he was initially scheduled; he is a well-rounded finisher with multiple submissions and knockouts on his resume.
I would rather have Ghemmouri at this price as even though he is giving up the size, I am not very sold on Gomis.
Pick: Ghemmouri O/U: Over 2.5
Featherweight clash here that sees the biggest favorite on the main card. Morgan Charriere comes into this fight out of Cage Warriors, having fought quality competition during his run there, showing good finishing ability with four knockouts in the promotion. Manolo Zecchini steps in here off back-to-back knockout wins; most of his wins are by knockout, although he has yet to face very impressive competition, having lost when facing the two best fighters on his record.
I like Charriere here as he has shown much more against higher-quality opposition, making me feel this high price on him is justified.
Pick: Charriere O/U: Under 2.5
European Bantamweights matchup here, with the Frenchman being favored on the odds. Taylor Lapilus returns to the UFC here, and he is a solid kickboxer with a decent record against solid competition. Caolan Loughran comes in an undefeated prospect from Cage Warriors with a very aggressive style.
I'll pick Lapilus here as his experience will help him survive the attack of Loughran and take control.
Pick: Lapilus O/U: Under 2.5
Welterweight matchup here of two veterans. Ange Loosa has a well-rounded game, and many may remember him for nearly finishing Jack Della Maddalena on Dana White's Contender Series. Rhys McKee returns to the UFC after getting several finishes; he had a tough run in the UFC but was given brutal competition, like having to face Khamzat Chimaev in his debut; he is a tall striker with a good pace.
I've got Loosa here as he has never been finished, and McKee has never won a decision, giving me the feeling that no matter how this fight plays out, Loosa will come out on top. He will likely find a knockout finish with his explosive striking, and I don't trust McKee's defense.
Pick: Loosa O/U: Under 2.5
Tested veteran takes on an exciting debutant here at Bantamweight. Nora Cornolle makes her debut, having finished all of her pro wins. Joselyne Edwards is on a quiet three-fight win streak using her solid grappling defense and kickboxing, although her fights are relatively low volume.
I'll lean with Edwards here as she has a higher level of experience, and I am not sold on what I've seen from Cornolle outside the UFC.
Pick: Edwards O/U: Over 2.5
A great clash of Bantamweight prospects to watch. Farid Basharat is an outstanding prospect who showed a lot of great things in his win over Da'Mon Blackshear, which has aged very well. Kleydson Rodrigues moves up in weight here after some issues make Flyweight; he showed his power by getting a quick finish over Shannon Ross his last time out but also had a very tough debut against CJ Vergara, who was able to outpace him.
I'll take Basharat in this one, as he has impressed me so far, and I don't think Rodrigues has the tools to beat him.
Pick: Basharat O/U: Over 2.5
Manon Fiorot -189
Ange Loosa -179
Volkan Oezdemir by TKO/KO +115