UFC Paris: 3 fights to make for the UFC's return


The fights that have to be made for the UFC's return to Paris.

After a spectacular Paris card in September of 2022, the UFC has decided to return to the French capital once again for another UFC fight night. On the 3rd of September, 2023, almost exactly a year ago to the date, the Accor Arena will once again be packed full of MMA fans waiting to cheer on their French fighters.

Last year, we saw the likes of Ciryl Gane, Robert Whittaker, and Nassourdine Imanov walk away as victors in some tremendous fights. With the event now made official by the UFC, we can finally begin to daydream about potential fights that we need to see for the UFC's return to the 'City of Light.'

Here are three fights that need to happen when the UFC makes their second trip to Paris ever in the history of the promotion.

3 must-see fights we need to get for UFC Paris

1. Ciryl Gane vs. Sergei Pavlovich

The last time we saw Gane make his walk towards the Octagon was during the historic return of Jon Jones at UFC 285, back in March of 2023. The man many thought would give Jones a run for his money in his heavyweight debut proved too inexperienced for the fighter many consider the G.O.A.T., losing quickly in the first round.

A chance to get his momentum back has just presented itself with the UFC's return to Paris. He walked out to huge fanfare last year and was in an absolute brawl against Tai Tuivasa, raising the roof with every big punch, kick, and knockdown landed.

With Jones and Stipe Miocic likely fighting sometime later this year, it'd be surprising to see Sergei Pavlovich sit out until 2024 to wait for a title shot. The mauling heavyweight is on a six fight win streak and a fight against Gane gives him a chance to continue to prove he belongs at the top while putting Gane back into the title picture.

2. Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot

This bout has been rumored since the two have been going back-and-forth on social media. They have seemingly struggled to decide whether they want a three or five round fight but one thing is for certain, this clash could easily be the fight of the night.

Given that both fighters are European, ranked, and exciting to watch, this matchup makes even more sense regardless of them already flirting with the bout. This could easily be the co-main event of a UFC pay-per-view but fans in the Accor Arena will be treated to an all-out technical brawl that could easily go the distance or be done before the first round.

3. Manon Fiorot vs. Taila Santos

The UFC's women's flyweight title picture has been exciting yet slightly frustrating to follow since seemingly unbeatable champion Valentina Shevchenko dropped the belt to Alexa Grasso back at UFC 285 in March of 2023.

Despite fighters such as Manon Fiorot, Taila Santos, and Erin Blanchfield deserving a title shot, Shevchenko will get the nod to rematch Grasso sometime this year. This means that the top flyweight contenders will continue to not get any fights.

UFC Paris can fix that.

Fiorot is on a 10 fight win streak and ranked number 2 in the weight class yet, she has not fought since UFC 280, all the way back in October of 2022. Santos was scheduled to face Blanchfield before an injury forced her out but she also has not competed since UFC 275. That was in June of 2022, a year ago from today.

Matching these two up makes perfect sense. Blanchfield appears more established since her mauling of Jessica Andrade, meaning that Fiorot and Santos will need a big win to leapfrog her in the title picture. A huge fight in Paris does just that for whoever walks away as the winner.

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