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UFC Paris Main Event Breakdown

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Last weekend, MMA‘s top promotion, the UFC, experienced a rare bye week after being in action for every weekend of the last three months, but this week, as the calendar turns to the month of September and the Labor Day weekend, the promotion is back to commence the stretch run of its 2022 schedule of events, beginning with UFC Paris and the UFC Paris main event.

This card (Saturday, 3 pm ET/ noon PT on ESPN+ following prelims at noon ET/ 9 am PT) will be a momentous occasion for Dana White‘s promotion, since UFC Paris will mark the first show from the organization to emanate from France in the aftermath of the country legalizing the sport in 2020.

MMA had initially been barred in France between 2016 and 2019 amid concerns of the sport’s violent nature, a ban overturned by the French National Olympic and Sports Committee.

Subsequent to the ban’s reversal. the French Boxing Federation (Federation Francaise de Boxe) oversaw MMA in the country from the outset.

Heavyweight Clash in UFC Paris Main Event

All told, UFC Paris will feature a 12-fight card, absent of any late postponements between now and Saturday, highlighted by a heavyweight showcase in the UFC Paris main event.

Former UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion, No. 1 contender Ciryl Gane (10-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) will have the hometown crowd on his side when he fights No. 3 contender Tai Tuivasa (15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) on Saturday.

As with all UFC headliners, the UFC Paris main event will be an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to conclude the evening’s activities in France.

UFC Paris Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the main event of the evening on Saturday, Ciryl Gane stands as the taller man at 6-foot-4, compared to the 6-foot-2 frame of Tai Tuivasa.

In addition, Gane owns a six-inch (81 inches to 75 inches) reach advantage and a 2 1/2-inch (42 inches even to 39 1/2 inches) leg reach advantage over Tuivasa ahead of the UFC Paris main event.

Former Interim Champion Ciryl Gane Faces First “Home Game” of MMA Career in UFC Paris Main Event

Ciryl Gane enters the UFC Paris main event this weekend having gone 4-1 in his last five UFC fights, coming off of the first defeat of his career in his most recent appearance, a unanimous decision at the hands of Francis Ngannou on Jan. 22 during the UFC 270 main event.

Up to now, Gane had yet to appear in an MMA fight in his home country, but on Saturday, this changes as he fights in France for the first time in his MMA career, a fact that isn’t lost on him.

During a recent interview, Gane mentioned that he plans to put on quite a show for his hometown fans.

“Yeah, it’s special,” Gane began. “It’s different, really different, my last fight was for the belt and now it’s for my country, in front of my country. It’s special… Not much pressure, though. I have this experience already as my career in Muay-Thai was in France, I fought in front of my family and friends. I’m going to be really happy to fight in Paris, more than Houston or Anaheim.”

During that same interview, the former interim champion alluded to the fact that he seeks to defeat Tai Tuivasa inside the distance.

“I want to finish the fight because it will be in front of my fans and I want to put on a show for my fans,” he said. “I’m going to try to finish the fight with striking, but everyone knows I can go to the ground game.”

How will Ciryl Gane handle the pressure of this home game?

Tune into the UFC Paris main event and find out.

Tai Tuivasa Embraces Role of Heel in UFC Paris Main Event

In the other corner, Tai Tuivasa, who has a penchant for making amusing choices as far as his walkout songs, has gone 5-0 in his last five contests, including a second-round knockout due to an elbow strike against Derrick Lewis back in February during UFC 271.

Even though Tai Tuivasa knows how to have fun, he knows that Saturday’s main event will be serious business and he’ll be the bad guy this weekend, as he said in an interview with Australia’s The National.

“I’m from Western Sydney, we’re the underdogs all the time,” Tuivasa said. “That’s fine with me. I come down there to [mess] up a party.

Tai Tuivasa has clearly earned this fight in the UFC Paris main event, and as the countdown to the fight reaches its final days, he’s got one thing on his mind:

Ensuring the hometown fans leave the arena in silence on Saturday.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Paris main event seems to favor Tai Tuivasa, a former kickboxer and boxer, compared to Ciryl Gane’s background as a kickboxer and Muay-Thai fighter.

Thus, it stands to reason that the biggest constant of a heavyweight fight in MMA will come into play once again:

As little as one punch can knock one of these fighters down and out.

Watch For Ciryl Gane’s Vicious Punches

Ciryl Gane has been known for landing the big shots, which he did versus Junior dos Santos back in December of 2020.

During the second round of a scheduled three, Gane was able to use his movement to fake dos Santos out by mixing up his strike attempts, peppering him with repeated leg kicks.

Halfway through the period, Gane scored with a jab to dos Santos’ head, wobbling him in the process.

With Gane now smelling blood, he landed another punch to drop his opponent, and although he landed a brief flurry of ground and pound shots, the damage was already done as the referee waved off the fight.

Look for Ciryl Gane to try and set up the punches with kicks to Tai Tuivasa’s legs, and once he’s able to land those punches, the UFC Paris main event could very well be his for the taking.

Tai Tuivasa Can Be Brutal With Strikes Himself

Don’t discount the punching ability of Tai Tuivasa in the other corner during the UFC Paris main event this coming weekend, because he can bring the fireworks in his own right, as had happened against Derrick Lewis earlier this year.

Although Tuivasa was stunned by punches early in round two, he was able to recover and return fire with a nasty right-handed punch to wobble Lewis.

While in the clinch, Tuivasa landed the final blow with an elbow shot to Lewis’ head, causing him to fold like an accordion, knocking him out.

If Tai Tuivasa is able to counterattack and land the more vicious shots, fans could very well be witness to another Shoey after the UFC Paris main event.

Final Thoughts

Not much more needs to be said about this headlining bout on Saturday except this:

The man who lands the first major punch has a decent chance at being the man who leaves Paris this weekend as the winner.

Get your popcorn ready.

Prediction: Tai Tuivasa by Unanimous Decision.

Let us know your thoughts on the UFC Paris Main Event in the comments below!

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about MMA since the spring of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and an even better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.