French fighters largely dominated the debates during the second edition of UFC Paris, on Saturday September 2 at the Accor Arena. Manon Fiorot notably won the victory over American Rose Namajunas, UFC women’s legend, while Ciryl Gane signed her comeback by crushing Moldovan Serghei Spivac in the heavyweight category.
It is undoubtedly the greatest victory ever won in MMA on French soil and in front of a French audience. At the end of an evening where the French fighters were dominating in front of their public with very convincing performances, Niçoise Manon Fiorot, number two in the UFC flyweight category, took up the immense challenge with flying colours. stood in front of her, the most important of this UFC Paris: to defeat the American Rose Namajunas, former double champion of the strawweight category and legend of the organization.
A confrontation which, in terms of stakes, was at the very top of the Parisian event as it could mark the history of MMA in France. ” This is the fight I needed in my career “, confessed the Frenchwoman a few days before the fight. Because this, a real world semi-final played at home, could propel her towards a fight for the title of champion in her category. The opportunity was therefore ideal to take another step towards this long-awaited consecration by French MMA.still looking for its first tricolor representative, men and women alike, to be crowned at the top of the American organization.
But for that, Manon Fiorot first had to prove that she was able to climb the Namajunas mountain. If the two opponents first took the time to gauge each other during the first minutes of the fight, they were quickly each entitled to their respective highlights. The Frenchwoman made her standing power speak by placing high-kick and by deploying a work of fearsome fists to try to touch the head of the American. Unbalanced after a blow at the start of the second round, the latter even stumbled before being taken to the ground by the Habs but without success. Tenacious and lively, Namajunas returned the favor to Fiorot in stride by knocking her down and then inflicting a head injury that did not stop bleeding until the end of the fight.
The good wrestling defense of the Niçoise, applied to avoid the phases on the ground and to stay at a distance thanks to its reach and its movements, ended up paying off. At the end of a very balanced fight but which will have shown the net deficit of power of the American in this category, Fiorot is declared winner. ” Beating a legend like Rose in front of my home crowd is the perfect night “, she savored after the fight. With this challenge met, she can now turn to her main objective: a fight for the title with the championship belt in her sights.
Winning return to the cage for Ciryl Gane
On the heavyweight side, the stakes were also high for Ciryl Gane. Spearhead of the tricolor MMA, the French remained on two defeats in his quest for the category champion belt: the first by decision after a fight of titans against the Cameroonian Francis Ngannou in January 2022, but especially the last date against American legend Jon Jones, who had dispatched the fight in just two minutes by submitting Gane in the first round last March. A particularly bitter failure which left its mark on the Frenchmanand who had to relaunch during this second edition of UFC Paris to hope for a new chance to compete for the title.
For his return to the octagon, the UFC naturally wanted to test him. Facing him in the melting room of the Accor Arena came the Moldavian Serghei Spivac, 7th in the classification of the category and an opponent perhaps less flashy on paper but with the profile of a pure wrestler, formidable in the phases at ground, precisely where the Frenchman has often been undermined during his last clashes. ” Facing wrestlers, it’s gonna make me better “, he also assured a few days before his fight.
The shock against the Moldovan for his return to the cage should therefore allow us to see if the Frenchman had been able to learn from his recent disappointments and progress on his weak points. But in an Arena in fusion, which made the stands vibrate on the words of the Marseillaise from the first seconds of his fight, the “Good Kid” reminded everyone that he did not like to do things like everything the world and that the test proposed by the UFC was only a mere formality.
The Moldovan quickly found himself overwhelmed by the power in striking of the French and helpless since his attempts to take on the ground met with no success. Diligent not to fall into the trap set by Spivac, Gane effectively maintained the distance with his opponent while wearing him down physically with low kick devastating. While the public encouraged him to shorten the fight, the latter was not long asked: a huge streak from the Frenchman, who managed to corner Spivac against the cage with a series of hammer blows, put an end definitive in combat during the second round.
Never worried by the strategy of the Moldovan, Ciryl Gane signed with this performance during this Parisian evening the return he hoped to resume his way to the heavyweight belt of the UFC. But altruistic and patriotic, the Yonnais especially wanted to salute the collective performance of the tricolor: “ I am not the only face of French MMA, tonight we all assured serious “. In terms of performance, it’s hard to prove him wrong: this second edition of UFC Paris carried the colors of French MMA high in the eyes of the world.
The other results of the French at UFC Paris
Lightweights: victory of Benoit Saint-Denis against Thiago Moises by TKO in the second round.
Featherweight: victory of William Gomis against Yanis Ghemmouri by TKO in the 3rd round.
Featherweight: victory of Morgan Charrière against Manolo Zecchini by KO in the 1st round.
Bantamweight: victory of Taylor Lapilus against Caolan Loughran by unanimous decision.
Bantamweight: victory of Nora Cornolle against Joselyne Edwards by unanimous decision.
Bantamweight: loss of Zarah Fairn against Jacqueline Cavalcanti by unanimous decision.