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MMA Preview: UFC Paris – Ciryl Gane (11-2-0) vs. Sergey Spivak (16-3-0)

Ciryl Gane vs. Sergey Spivak is the main event of UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Spivak (a.k.a. UFC on ESPN+ 84), which is taking place in Gane’s hometown of Paris on Saturday, September 2

Ciryl Gane is one of the best strikers in the history of the UFC Heavyweight division, but his wrestling skills are questionable. This is why his fans need to be concerned ahead of his duel with Sergey Spivak at Accor Arena on September 2.

“Polar Bear” is coming off a submission win over Derrick Lewis, for which he won the Performance of the Night bonus. And you can be 100% certain he’s planning to do the same!

However, oddsmakers don’t think the Moldovan fighter will pull it off. Instead, they see “Bon Gamin” (“Good Boy”) as a -160 favorite.

Erin Blanchfield vs. Taila Santos Odds
Moneyline Odds
Erin Blanchfield -140
Taila Santos +110
*Odds taken from Sports Odds Direct on Thursday, August 31, 2023.

When, Where, and How to Watch?
Place: Accor Arena in Paris, France
Date: Saturday, September 2
Time: ~2:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+

Ciryl Gane made himself famous in the martial arts universe by going 13-0 in his professional Muay Thai career. Nine of those wins happened by KO/TKO. Then, he decided to switch to MMA, which proved to be the right move.

After going 3-0 in the Canadian promotion TKO Major League MMA, the Frenchman inked a deal with the Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC). After going 6-0, he earned himself a shot at the UFC Heavyweight title against his former teammate Francis Ngannou.

Although “The Predator” is famous for having the hardest punch in the world, he wasn’t able to KO Gane. In fact, Gane landed more strikes than him. However, Ngannou then decided to switch to wrestling. Even though he had no takedowns in his portfolio prior to that, Ngannou managed to land four against Gane, which was enough to win the fight by unanimous decision.

Gane bounced back after his first career loss with a KO win over Tai Tuivasa in what was a classic striking duel between two heavyweights. Then, he got another shot at the championship belt, this time against legendary Jon Jones on his heavyweight debut.

Once again, Gane’s wrestling skills failed him. “Bones” took him down twice before finishing him with a guillotine choke after just 124 seconds.

Sergey Spivak is 16-3 overall with seven wins by KO/TKO, seven by submission, and two by decision. In his most recent fight, he defeated the hard-hitting Derrick Lewis by an arm-triangle choke in the first round, for which he received a Performance of the Night bonus.

This guy’s strongest weapon is wrestling, the evidence being that he lands 5.05 takedowns per 15 minutes. Then, when he takes the opponents to the ground, he either tries to submit them or goes on to throw as many punches as possible while on top of them.

What’s got to worry him ahead of his trip to Paris is that in order to take Gane down, he needs to get close to him. That’s not going to be easy as the Frenchman is great with leg kicks and has a significantly longer reach.

Ciryl Gane has probably spent the last couple of months working on his takedown defense. He’s aware that that’s what cost him the title twice already. And even if his wrestling hasn’t improved since the fight with Jones, he should still be able to do well against Spivak.

After all, Spivak isn’t Jones, and he’s got a bad experience fighting tall guys with great striking skills. For instance, when he fought Tom Aspinall two years ago, he lost by TKO in round 1.

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