UFC Paris Gambling Preview: Will Ciryl Gane give the French crowd something to celebrate?

UFC Fight Night: Costa v Vettori

After a rare weekend away from UFC action, MMA’s premier promotion returns with a historic card. UFC Paris marks the company’s debut in France, and is headlined by a heavyweight tilt with title implications between former interim champion Ciryl Gane and the surging Tai Tuivasa. The main event is equally as interesting, showcasing a middleweight contest between former champion Robert Whittaker and former title challenger, Marvin Vettori, plus there are 10 other fights on the card, featuring a bevy of French fighters who are hungry to give their countrymen something to cheer about.

As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.

UFC Fight Night: Costa v Vettori

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Straight Bets

Marvin Vettori, +180

In the co-main event, Vettori and Whittaker are fighting for the title of second-best middleweight in the world behind Israel Adesanya, and while Whittaker might be the better overall fighter, Vettori is a tough out for anyone. “The Italian Dream” has won six of his past seven fights, with his lone loss coming to Adesanya in a failed title bid. Although Vettori may not have a lot of flash, his game is full of relentless pressure and a strong chin. Whittaker should be able to stick and move well enough early on, but he doesn’t have the firepower to keep Vettori off of him and so this fight could simply come down to how the judges score forward pressure vs. retreating counterstrikes. While Whittaker is the clear favorite, Vettori has value here as the fight could be closer to an even contest that the bookmakers suggest.

John Makdessi, +195

Similar to my analysis above, I think Nasrat Haqparast is more likely to win the match than Makdessi. But these are not the best odds. Yes, Haqparast is the younger, bigger man, but his game has never quite impressed and we’ve seen him struggle with high-volume, tricky strikers before. Makdessi may not be Bobby Green but his unique Tae Kwon Do style has caused problems for more experienced fighters than Haqparast. It wouldn’t be shocking if Haqparast was able to edge out a decision, but this fight is much closer to a 50/50 proposition than the odds suggest.

UFC Fight Night: Ortega v Rodriguez Ceremonial Weigh-in

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Prop Bets

Gane/Tuivasa OVER 2. 5 Rounds, -135

More about this fight later, but for now the important thing to know is that in six of his eight UFC bouts, Gane has hit the Over 2. 5 Rounds wager. Although Tuivasa’s success has been less with Overs than Gane, it is clear that this must be Gane’s show. His style is more safety-oriented and he’s the better striker. He will pick Tuivasa out, and “Bam Bam”, though it is not easy enough for him to do so. I would also feel decent about betting this line at OVER 3. 5 Rounds for +115 odds.

Charles Jourdain/Nathaniel Wood OVER 2. 5 Rounds, -150

Arguably the most fun fight on the entire card is the featherweight main card opener between Jourdain and Wood, so let me give you some quick numbers: In nine UFC bouts, Jourdain has gone OVER 2. 5 rounds in seven of them. For Wood, he’s gone OVER 2. 5 in four of seven bouts, but he’s done so in his previous three encounters. Both of these men are scrappy and durable, and we’re more than likely in for 15 minutes of fighting between the two of them.

UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Parlay of the Week

Ciryl Gane, -520

Here’s a simple fact that should tell you all you need to know about this fight: in his eight UFC fights, Gane has never lost a round that took place on the feet. He’s fought Francis Ngannou, Derrick Lewis, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Junior dos Santos (among others) and took them to school in kickboxing. Tai Tuivasa is no different. Gane is the best striker in the heavyweight division. It’s that simple. So unless Tuivasa has been working on an Ngannou-like wrestling game for this fight, his prospects for winning are bleak. MMA is MMA. I may look stupid for this fight, but it is one of my most positive outcomes in a while. I personally would be happy to place a large price on this result, instead of making parlays.

Whittaker/Vettori Goes To Decision, -250

As mentioned above, Vettori is a brick building of a man who seems nearly impossible to stop. But for all his own durability, he’s also not much of a finisher; 10 of his 12 UFC fights have gone to decision. Likewise, Whittaker has proven to be a tough guy to finish, but he’s seen the final scorecards in six of his previous seven bouts. And, forget it, all five decisions made by Whittaker, four by Vettori, were in five-round bouts. This is just three.

Makdessi/Haqparast OVER 2. 5 Rounds, -205

I may sound like a broken record, but numbers don’t lie. 12 of Makdessi’s 18 UFC bouts have gone to decision, including his previous five in a row. Seven of Haqparast’s nine UFC bouts (including his four previous ones) have been scored. Despite their high volume, neither of these men are big finishers, so expect this one to go late.

A French flag is flying from the mast of a boat in Marseille...

Photo by Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Long Shot of the Week

Parlay Ciryl Gane, William Gomis, Fares Ziam, Nassourdine Imavov, and Benoit Saint-Denis for +787 odds.

Parlays may not be the best way to place a wager, but they are also very risky. But you know what both are? Fun. Fun. There’s no real breakdown in the math or the matchups here, this is simply betting with your heart. Don’t forget your beret and the baguettes!

Wrap Up

We were absolutely battered last time, but it had been a winning streak of weeks that made us confident. Time to rebound and build some momentum heading into UFC 279.

Enjoy the fighting, luck and gambling responsibly until next week!

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