Main Card Preview: UFC Fight Night, Gane vs. Tuivasa
On Saturday, September 3, Dana White hosts an unusually stacked UFC card for the UFC’s debut in Paris.
Starting off with Featherweight bout between Charles Jourdain and Nathaniel Wood which will be nothing less than a fireworks show.
The card later features a fan favorite, where striking savant Robert Whittaker takes on Marvin Vettori; a highly anticipated bout that was unfortunately cancelled this past June, which would have taken place during UFC 275.
Finally, the night caps off with the inaugural main event in Paris, France; Showcasing “shoey” drinking Tai Tuivasa facing off against France’s very own Ciryl Gane.
We will now take a look at every fight in this action-packed main card. Which fights will be eye popping? Who will shock the world in Paris? Will there be a new threat in the UFC heavyweight division?
NOTE: Comm Radio and the writer of this article do not condone any betting activity whatsoever. Betting odds featured in this article come from draft kings purely as a reference.
Charles Jourdain (13-5-1) vs. Nathaniel Wood (18-5-0)
Statistically speaking, this fight should not go the distance. The favorite, Charles “Air” Jourdain achieved a finish in 12 of his 13 victories (eight via KO, four via submission) flexing an astonishing 92% finish rate. Nathaniel Wood has finished 14 of 18 eligible opponents yielding an impressive 78% finish rate (nine KOs, five submissions).
Expect a dog fight where the first round may seem a little bit slower than were used to. But entering the second round, both fighters should open the flood gates and let their punches fly.
Jourdain is fresh off a close loss to Shane Burgos by split decision back on July 16, whereas Wood recently achieved the highlight moment in his career, defeating Charles Rosa by unanimous decision.
Although Wood may seem like the hotter fighter since he’s fresh off a staple win, Jourdain was on a five-fight win streak prior to his loss against Burgos. Jourdain’s slim loss just a month ago was still considered an impressive outing however, since Burgos was the -175 favorite leading into the fight.
Many punches will land during this fight and momentum will swing back and forth between the two fighters. But Jourdain will have the upper hand since he has experience facing better strikers and better wrestlers than Wood.
Prediction: Charles Jourdain via TKO.
William Gomis (10-2-0) vs. Jarno Errens (13-3-1)
The first of the two France-based fighters on this main card, William Gomis receives a special opportunity to fight in his UFC debut for a wild crowd in his home city of Paris. As a professional MMA fighter, Gomis has only lost twice with his last loss dating all the way back in 2016.
Gomis has one of two major options to take his opponent out: punches and Ju Jitsu. Gomis has a deadly flow and hits really hard. This is a perfect compliment to use with his grappling skills, which he has done successfully by scoring two KOs via his deadly ground and pound in his previous two fights.
Jarno Errens also makes his UFC debut in Paris. Errens is ranked fourth out of 123 active professional featherweights in Germany. Errens doesn’t have the impressive repertoire of consistent victories that Gomis does, however he does possess some serious stopping power and can easily face off against the best of the best.
Unfortunately for Errens, the eye test and the stats favor Gomis heavily. Gomis should be superior in almost every facet of this fight. So expect an ugly one for Errens.
Prediction: William Gomis finishes Jarno Errens via guillotine choke or TKO.
John Makdessi (18-7-0) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (13-5-0)
UFC veteran John Makdessi prepares for his 19th fight in the octagon following a stellar split decision victory against Ignacio Bahamondes a year ago. Makdessi has found his strike again during his recent hot streak winning four of his last five UFC bouts.
Nasrat Haqparast is no rookie either. Haqparast will be entering the octagon for the tenth time, with an objective to break his small losing streak after receiving two losses by unanimous decision in a row.
Usually, when a 37-year-old faces off against a 27-year-old, it’s safe to side with the youth. However, this fight is not ordinary whatsoever. Haqparast has shown in his two losses to 35-year-old Bobby Green and 32-year-old Dan Hooker; more technically experienced fighters prove to give him a difficult time. So an upset could be in order.
Prediction: UFC vet and underdog John Makdessi wins via decision over Haqparast.
Alessio Di Chirico (13-6-0) vs. Roman Kopylov (8-2-0)
Di Chiciro (-115)
Now, we’ve arrived at the phase of the card where the quality of the individual fighters significantly increases. Alessio Di Chirico is a refined striker with an intensely paced ground game that gives many of his opponent’s trouble.
Roman Kopylov brings exceptional knockout power to the table, as all but one of his fights have been finished via KO or TKO. The caveat with Kopylov is his ground game. Simply put, it's severely lacking.
Kopylov’s previous two fights were his only two UFC appearances. In both of those fights, he was outwrestled. Unless there is massive improvement in his ground game, there is no reason to believe his wrestling skills are on par with the UFC standard.
Di Chiciro will game plan against Kopylov by integrating a heavy ground attack against his opponent and Kopylov will be overwhelmed by this attack and lose via submission or unanimous decision.
Alessio Di Chirico takes a must win, providing him with a hopeful shot to make a run for the belt.
Prediction: Alessio Di Chirico wins against Roman Kopylov via decision.
Robert Whittaker (24-6-0) vs. Marvin Vettori (18-5-1)
Robert Whittaker (-210)
Marvin Vettori (+180)
Robert Whittaker is a very balanced fighter. He uses a jab-strait combo to mask a deadly high kick. Pound-for-pound, Whittaker is one of the fastest fighters in the UFC. His deadly kick combo was able to connect against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who is known for his animal-like agility.
Whittaker has also faced elite competition such as Jacre Souza, Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson. To put it simply, he’s really seen it all.
For Marvin Vettori, pressure, pace and durability are his biggest assets, complemented with good wrestling and pressure from the top position. This is a recipe to out-pace any opponent.
The one issue is his speed, when opponents box him up he doesn’t have the footwork to evade quick strikes. It's very common to see him eat jabs that could easily be avoided.
Due to Whittaker’s anti-wrestling, fast movement and quick striking, he will have no trouble outclassing Vettori every round. Since he’s landing more strikes, he’s winning more rounds.
Prediction: Robert Whittaker wins via decision against Marvin Vettori.
Ciryl Gane (10-1-0) vs. Tai Tuivasa (15-3-0)
Ciryl Gane (-580)
Tai Tuivasa (+440)
In the main event of the evening, this fight is the ticket to being top contender.
Ciryl Gane is coming off his only professional loss against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. Gane enters this fight fueled to prove to his home city that he is the rightful number one contender in the UFC. On the other side, Tai Tuivasa wants to prove he’s the real deal after his staple win against fourth-ranked Derrick Lewis.
Gane is a technical master. Everything he does is executed with extreme care and technicality.
As a calm, calculated striker who downloads his opponent’s data over time every second of the fight and becomes slightly harder to defeat. He’s always looking for output to score points and will find ways to hit you and before you know it you are down a round against him. Gane’s fast footwork for his size makes him a mismatch for any opponent who’s slower.
Tai Tuivasa - the Australian banger who has everything to prove and has what it takes to succeed.
His style is to simply be a brawler who can sure take a shot to give a shot. His power and knockout potential makes things interesting, since he can end the fight at any given moment.
Tuivasa also has a unique ability to land big time shots as his unorthodox aggression makes it easy to land a shot, on his feet and in the clinch. With that aggression comes a surprising amount of technical ability, as he is very careful when to take his shots and find his moment.
Gane will be able to handle Tuivasa’s controlled chaos. Overall Ciryl Gane is the superior fighter - more technical, more experienced, faster and smarter. Tuivasa will need the shot of a lifetime to take home a win.
Prediction: Ciryl Gane via unanimous decision against Tai Tuivasa.
Antonio Fondacaro is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism to contact him, please email email@example.com