UFC Paris Highlights — Cyril Gaine Gives Masterclass, Robert Whitaker Reminds Himself How Dangerous He Is At 185

What was your biggest moment at UFC Paris? Jeff Wagenheim, Brett Okamoto and Marc Raimondi share what they learned from the highlight-filled event in France.

I was able to triumph in the space between Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa for the first eight minutes of Saturday’s UFC main event in Paris. That was what Gane wanted. For a round and a half he was showing off why he is considered the most technical heavyweight striker on the planet. As the Frenchman controlled the distance with sharp jabs to his face and kicks to his body, Tuibasa stepped forward and continued to unleash huge punches but failed to touch Gane. did.

Tuivasa then found him with a winged right hand midway through round two and Gane fell backwards to the canvas, stiffened.

“Honestly, Ty hit me so hard he knocked me out. He turned off the lights,” Gein said through an interpreter. “I fell, but I had to become a warrior. I got up…and I came back stronger.”

Gein immediately attacked, closing the distance and throwing everything he had. Tuibasa was retreating as body shots were visibly taking its toll. The round ended with his aggressive Gane and the roar of the Accor Arena crowd. The battle has begun.

However, the next round does not continue. Gein spent round three relentlessly attacking Tuibasa’s soft midsection, leaving the Australian fighters dangerous, but Gein no longer fighting from a distance. In the final minute of the round he landed a crushing right uppercut that wobbled his opponent’s leg, then followed with a series of lefts before referee Mark Goddard dived in to finish at 4:23. put him on the floor.

It was a hugely successful debut in Paris for the UFC, in part because the two top heavyweights delivered emotional performances with their own moments.

On top of that, Gane and Tsuibasa demonstrated the best martial arts spirit. There was no bad blood. They were smiling at each other the entire time, but that didn’t stop them from trying to knock each other out. .

And what was it? Fans in Paris will be back on track as his 32-year-old Parisian compatriot suffers the only defeat of his career in January, losing to UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a five-round decision. I was watching with vigor. The win put Gane back in the title picture, but in a crowded picture with Jon Jones holding his track inside to the champion. But the day of the French will come (again), and after seeing this sublime performance, I can’t wait until it comes.

And if Ngannou, who was training in Paris, still holds the belt when his next championship opportunity comes along, I hope they host a title fight in the City of Light. I’m here. — Wagenheim

‘They need to come back’: Paris draws attention to UFC with epic performance

PARIS — Benoît Saint-Denis had to brace himself. He was the first French-born fighter to participate in his UFC’s first card in his home country, entering Accor’s arena with a hero’s welcome.

By the time St. Denis came out, the building was full and it was only the third game of the night. Fans rose to their feet, chanting his name and treating him like one of the sport’s biggest superstars.

In the first round, when Saint-Denis was leather slinging with his opponent Gabriel Miranda, a roar came out of the stands and it was frightening at the last minute. It wasn’t sinister, it was the collective sound of his more than 15,405 fans stamping and clapping as they cheered for his UFC star back home.

“The first minute of the match felt like a video game,” said St. Denis. “It’s huge. The vibe. It’s hard for your brain to accept that all those people are rooting for you. You have to concentrate.” [opponent], because obviously you have work to do. This is important. ”

St. Denis said he was dazed when Miranda beat him in the first round. Saint Denis Connor He’s McGregor He’s Mohammed He’s Ali Rocky Balboa In his third fight in the UFC he’s not a 26-year-old prospect, it seemed all rolled into his one .

Fares Ziam, William Gomis, Nassourdine Imavov and Ciryl Gane also received royal treatment. Ziam said the “energy” of the crowd freed him from the armbar and bad position when Michal Figlak turned his back. The crowd roared when Gomis escaped a deep triangle from Jarno Ellens in the third round and won by decision.

And then there was Gane. The crowd roared during his strike, and the loudest of the night (up to that point) was the first round, cheering Guane’s name and singing the French national anthem in unison. Fans went into an incredible frenzy when Gane beat his Tuivasa in his 3rd round. Some fans cheered, danced, sang, jumped and cried. The atmosphere in MMA has been unparalleled, but over the years there have been some surreal cards in Ireland and England. perhaps.

“No one on the planet expected this from the French fans,” Gein said in a post-match interview.

The stands were about 75% full in the first game and full of energy. This is in stark contrast to the UFC shows in Las Vegas, which do not fill up until the main card begins. And the only reason the crowd wasn’t fully seated for the first ever UFC France fight was because many people were still waiting in long lines outside.

The UFC is located in the Accor Arena, adjacent to a staircase with a giant “UFC” sign and caricatures of Gane, Francis Ngannou, Georges St-Pierre and French women’s flyweight contender Manon Fioro. We set up a mobile UFC store next to it.

Born and raised in Paris, Bernie Tamayo was near the oversized UFC letter before the event, taking pictures and meeting friends. Wearing a Valentina Shevchenko fight kit (his favorite fighter) and a Nate Diaz hoodie, Tamayo said he’s been a UFC fan for 10 years. was unsure whether the promotion would hold an event in his hometown.

“I said, ‘I need to be here – no matter what, at any cost,'” Tamayo said when she found out about UFC Paris. That’s all there is to it.

“We need to show Dana White that Paris is the European location for UFC shows.”

Just a 10-minute walk through the Bercy district to the Accor Arena is the Japanese Judo Dojo and the Team Tsaitun Thai Boxing Gym. France has long been a hotspot for Judo, Karate and Muay Thai. And now, especially after Saturday night, it looks like it’s going to be MMA’s new hot spot.

“I see no other choice [the UFC]’ said Saint Denis. Like they do London. ” — Raimondi

Robert Whittaker is one of the best fighters on the planet

you know what? I love my ESPN colleagues. I think ESPN is doing a great job with this sport. But I have to take them to work. We have to pay tribute to Robert Whittaker. In ESPN’s current pound-for-pound rankings, his only two out of six voters place Whitaker in the top ten.

I think some people are sleeping about how special a fighter Whittaker is. The former champion has gone 12-2 with only two losses since moving up to middleweight. And when they fought most recently, two judges gave Whitaker two out of five rounds against Adesanya. What he is doing is tremendous. It’s not as impressive as what Adesanya accomplished, but it deserves recognition and recognition for its value.

I love that in Saturday’s post-game speech he claimed that he was always aiming for that number one spot and was always “lurking” in the 185. Heavyweight, but I hope that doesn’t happen.Whitaker is world class As a middleweight, whether he holds the belt or not, I appreciate his performances. — Okamoto


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