The UFC heads to Paris for the inaugural event in the capital of France, with a homecoming in order for heavyweight number one contender Ciryl Gane who faces fan favourite and number three ranked Tai Tuivasa at the Accor Arena.
It’s the first event to take place in France during the UFC’s 29-year history, with the French authorities and MMA having an estranged relationship in that time. It was re-legalised back in 2020 and this event was booked almost immediately.
Where: Accor Arena, Paris, France
When: Saturday 3rd September, 2022
How To Watch: Live on UFC Fight Pass from 5pm, BT Sport coverage begins at 6pm. Card will be finished by 11:30pm.
Gane vs Tuivasa:
Ciryl Gane is one of the most impressive heavyweights in combat sports right now. A proficient boxer on the feet and an even better wrestler with the strength of a lion, capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone in the division. Last time out, he failed to beat Francis Ngannou in his heavyweight title shot, with the Cameroonian champion utilising his weight and ground game due to an ongoing anterior cruciate ligament injury to get an unexpected victory.
Losing to the champion is never as bad as it seems, and Gane’s previous victories over Derrick Lewis, Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik were nothing short of emphatic. He’s avoided the heavy hitters of the division and now prepares for another trial by fire with an up and coming fighter.
Living in Western Sydney, born to Samoan and Indigenous Australian parents, Tuivasa was a front rower for the Sydney Roosters academy rugby league teams and had a reputation as a hard-man growing up. After getting sucked into a gambling addiction, he walked away from the sport and the toxic environment around him and became a fighter.
He made the switch, fought in Australia and the UK and now sees himself at the top of the heavyweight rankings in the UFC as one of the fan favourite fighters. He’s currently on a five-knockout run, defeating Derrick Lewis, Augusto Sakai and the UFC’s tallest ever fighter, Stefan Struve, in the last two years. Along with his signature celebration, the shoey, his knockouts have been fantastic to watch and have shot him to instant stardom.
Whittaker vs Vettori:
Another Aussie features in the co-main event, as Robert Whittaker looks to get back to winning ways after losing a title fight last time out via decision against Israel Adesanya back in February.
‘Bobby Knuckles’ is one of the badass heroes of the sport, known for his time in The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes series and being the man that got the middleweight title when Georges St-Pierre retired. Another ex-Rugby League player, Whittaker famously became the first Australian and New Zealand-born champion with his win over Yoel Romero back in 2017.
His opponent on the night is Marvin Vettori, a former champion of the European circuit who’s lost just a single UFC fight outside of his two title bouts with Israel Adesanya. A dominant win over Paulo Costa back in October last year was a great moment in his career, proving he deserves to sit in the top three of the division.
Whittaker will be looking to put him back outside of that group, but Vettori’s expert ground-game will keep him alive through most of the fight, enough to see him get a chance of defeating his opponent on the night. Expect this one to go this distance.
Other Fights To Watch:
There’s a banger at the start of the main card at around 8pm, with French-Canadian star Charles Jourdain facing Welsh fighter Nathaniel Wood. Jourdain made the headlines with a ‘Spartan kick’ against Andre Ewell, as well as defeating PFL star Shane Burgos in Long Island last month. Wood is fighting at featherweight after spending years trying to stoop down to bantamweight, and the change should be a good one for the Welshman.
Two European middleweights match up as Alessio Di Chirico and Roman Kopylov fight just before the co-main event. The pair are both coming into this one on the back of losses, and neither can afford to turn them into a losing streak.
Full Fight Card:
Ciryl Gane vs Tai Tuivasa
Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori
Alessio Di Chirico vs Roman Kopylov
John Makdessi vs Nasrat Haqparast
William Gomis vs Jarno Errens
Charles Jourdain vs Nathaniel Wood
Abus Magomedov vs Dustin Stoltzfus
Fares Ziam vs Michal Figlak
Nassourdine Imavov vs Joaquin Buckley
Benoit Saint-Denis vs Gabriel Miranda
Khalid Taha vs Cristian Quinonez
Stephanie Egger vs Ailin Perez
*18+ | BeGambleAware