UFC Paris went down last night (Sat., Sept. 3, 2022) inside Accor arena in Paris, France, featuring a Heavyweight slugfest that saw Ciryl Gane stop Tai Tuivasa in the third round via strikes (see it again here). In the co-main event, Robert Whittaker defeated Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision (highlights).
Winner: Ciryl Gane
Who He Should Face Next: Curtis Blaydes
Blaydes always seems to be the odd man out when talking about legit title contenders, but the man has won three straight and is 7-1 over his last eight fights inside the Octagon. Ranked No. 4 at the moment, Blaydes could be seemingly one more big win away from a shot at the title, and if Gane wants to punch his ticket back to the big dance, he has to get at least one more big win, and “Razor” fits the bill nicely. The 265-pound division is a bit muddled as a result of Francis Ngannou’s injury and Jon Jones’ looming debut, so Gane needs to stay busy to keep his spot on the pecking order. Granted, Blaydes may not be at the top of Gane’s wish list, but this fight might happen either way.
Winner: Robert Whittaker
Who He Should Face Next: Paulo Costa
While Whittaker would love nothing more than another shot at the title, it will be hard to come by if Israel Adesanya defeats Alex Pereira in a few months since “The Last Stylebender” already has two wins over “The Reaper.” That’s why Whittaker should focus his attention on a fight against Costa, one of the men at the top of the 185-pound ladder he has yet to face. Costa is coming off a big win over Luke Rockhold and he, too, wants another shot at the division strap. The winner here moves one step closer.
Winner: Nassourdine Imavov
Who He Should Face Next: Andre Muniz
After picking up his third straight win against a very durable Joaquin Buckley, Imavov can expect to climb a few spots and possibly crack the Top 10. A fight against Muniz seems appropriate since he is on a five-fight win streak inside the Octagon, nine overall. Once the new rankings come in next week, Imavov and Muniz will be closer to one another so the fight makes sense in that regard. Also, both men are pointing up, so there will be a lot on the line should this fight come to fruition.
Winner: Roman Kopylov
Who He Should Face Next: Gerald Meerschaert
Kopylov got back in the win column with a huge knockout win over Alessio Di Chirico, stopping the bleeding of his two-fight losing streak. A fight against Meerschaert could be in order since he is coming off a win, as well, defeating Bruno Silva a little less than one month ago. Both men got a ways to go before they can start sniffing the Top 15, so chipping away slowly is the way to go for both men.
Winner: William Gomis
Who He Should Face Next: Bill Algeo
Gomis was successful in his UFC debut, earning a majority decision win over Jarno Errens and extending his win streak to nine stretching back all the way to 2016. Barely starting out in his UFC career, I am feeling a fight against Algeo next. Algeo is currently on a two-fight win streak and is 3-2 so far inside the Octagon. Gomis might have the tools to be a legit contender in a few years at Featherweight, but he’ll have a long and grueling road to take on his way there.
Winner: Nathaniel Wood
Who He Should Face Next: Alex Caceres
Wood earned his second straight win, defeating Charles Jourdain via unanimous decision and improving his record to 6-2 inside the Octagon. I am feeling a fight against Caceres next for “The Prospect.” Caceres is coming off a tough loss to Sodiq Yussuf, which snapped his five-fight win streak. Wood is on his way up and Caceres barely cracked the Top 15, so it’s a good match up between two, young and talented individuals who have a lot of time and room to grow. A win is big for both men here, allowing them to take a step forward in a very crowded 145-pound weight class.
For complete UFC Paris: “Gane vs. Tuivasa” results and play-by-play, click HERE.