We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Paris in France! We have a fun 12-fight slate on DraftKings and it starts at noon EST which is my favorite type of cards. It also helps that on DraftKings we have another $100,000 to first place in the main contest.

As always, I give my analysis and DraftKings strategy based on how I see each fight matchup playing out. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter  with any questions that you have leading up until fight night Saturday.

William Gomis vs Jarno Errens
Gomis, -215; Errens, +185

William Gomis is making his UFC debut in front of his home crowd in Paris. He is a 10-2 prospect with six of his 10 wins coming by knockout. After a rocky start to his professional career, he is currently on an eight-fight win streak. He is primarily a striker with some heavy leg kicks and fast hands. But he has also the ability to land takedowns if needed and threaten with some submission attempts as well.

His opponent, Jarno Errens is also making his UFC debut. He is a 13-3 prospect with five of his wins coming by submission. The level of competition has been low on the regional scene, but he seems to be a firecracker in most of his fights. He has some power in his hands and times his counter shots well. But he has also shown to be a tricky submission grappler and can land some takedowns as well so we should see some fun grappling exchanges in this one.

On the feet, I expect Gomis to have the advantage with his kicks, but he leaves himself open for counters and can be clipped on the feet. I think he is the stronger grappler of the two and has shown a decent get up game as well so I doubt Errens can hold him down much. Regardless, this is a low-level fight on both sides and seeing Gomis as a sizable favorite seems unwarranted, so I am treating Errens as a live underdog for DraftKings. I will have some exposure to both fighters as I am expecting this to be fought at a high pace which should score well. The official pick is Gomis by decision.

Stephanie Egger vs Ailin Perez
Egger, -280; Perez, +235

Stephanie Egger is coming off a controversial first-round submission loss to Mayra Bueno Silva just a few weeks ago. She comes from a high-level Judo background and is primarily a grappler with three of her seven career wins coming by submission. Her striking is awkward and good strikers will be able to take advantage of her on the feet, but she is strong in the clinch and should be able to get the fight where she needs it against most of the lower-level women in this division.

Her opponent, Ailin Perez is making her UFC debut on short notice. She is a 7-1 prospect with four wins coming by knockout and her only loss being a disqualification for illegal knees. The level of competition she has faced is very low as she has just one win against an opponent with a winning record. She has done a lot of her work with landing takedowns and beating her opponents on the mat but that likely will not be a path for her against Egger who should be the better grappler of the two. Egger by decision is the official pick but I prefer other fighters to her on DraftKings.

Khalid Taha vs Christian Quinonez
Taha, -125; Quinonez, +105

Khalid Taha is coming off a year layoff as we last saw him in July of last year as he dropped a decision to Sergey Morozov. He has had a rough run of matchups against primarily grapplers that were able to grind on him and take away his power. He is a very powerful striker that will put everything into his punches and has nine of his 13 wins coming by knockout. His biggest issue is that he can be taken down and controlled on the mat for extended periods.

His opponent, Christian Quinonez is making his UFC debut fresh off a decision victory on Dana White’s Contender Series last season. He is the younger brother of Jose Quinonez and sports a 17-3 record with 12 of his wins coming inside the distance. He has a nice jab and some good range management as he typically likes to stay on the outside and keep the fight at distance.

While the fight plays out on the feet, I expect Quinonez to have the advantage at distance, but Taha is going to be more powerful and the more aggressive fighter moving forward. Quinonez can be baited into a brawl as well and I think it is only a matter of time before Taha starts cutting off the cage and walking him down. Taha by knockout is the official pick and he is a high-upside target in the mid-range on DraftKings.

Benoit Saint Denis vs Gabriel Miranda
Saint Denis, -265; Miranda, +225

Benoit Saint Denis is coming off a second-round submission victory over Niklas Stolze in June. He is 9-1 professionally with eight of his wins coming by submission and his only loss being the UFC debut against Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos. He is an aggressive grappler and averages just under 3.5 takedowns per 15 minutes, so we know what to expect from the gameplan.

His opponent, Gabriel Miranda is making his UFC debut on short notice. Miranda is 16-5 with 15 of his wins coming by submission. He is primarily a guard player and a poor round winner as he is 0-4 in decisions, so he is relying on finding that submission. The issue is that he is likely fighting a better grappler in this matchup, and he will be fighting up a weight class as well.

I expect Saint Denis to be the stronger fighter and the one spending time in dominant position throughout this fight. It is possible Miranda can catch him with something, but the most likely outcome is that Saint Denis finds a finish on the mat. Saint Denis by TKO is the official pick.

Nassourdine Imavov vs Joaquin Buckley
Imavov, -255; Buckley, +215

Nassourdine Imavov is coming off a second-round knockout victory over Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC 268 in November. He is currently on a two-fight win streak since dropping a majority decision to Phil Hawes in early 2021. Imavov is a very well-rounded fighter with powerful boxing and solid wrestling as well. The way to beat him is by taking him down and out grappling him which is much easier said than done.

His opponent, Joaquin Buckley is coming off an upset victory against Albert Duraev in June. He is currently on a three-fight win streak. He is 5-2 in the UFC with four of those coming by knockout and 11 of his 15 career wins have come that way as well. He clearly has big power but has also shown the ability to land takedowns as he averages over 1.5 takedowns per 15 minutes.

While the fight plays out on the feet, I expect Imavov to be the more technical striker, but Buckley does have the power that could be a game changer if he connects clean. I have a hard time seeing Buckley have success taking Imavov down and holding him down or doing much damage on the ground. So, I have to lean with the better striker who has the better durability as well. Imavov by decision is the official pick.

Michal Figlak vs Fares Ziam
Figlak, -195; Ziam, +165

Michal Figlak is an undefeated prospect with a 8-0 record. He is a former Cage Warriors standout prospect and is coming into the UFC with a lot of hype behind him as a debutant fighter. He is very well-rounded and has shown a complete game on the regional scene between his powerful striking and his ability to land takedowns as well. He holds a purple belt in BJJ and is a good scrambler on the mat.

His opponent, Fares Ziam is coming off a first-round submission loss to Terrance McKinney in February. Ziam comes from a striking background and is a technical kickboxer, but he does not have much substance to his game and his defensive grappler has always been an issue. Outside of his jab and footwork, there is not much to be concerned about and if you are able to take him down and control him then you should not have many issues.

I expect the striking to be competitive, but it should be Figlak being the more aggressive fighter as Ziam has never been aggressive even when he has the advantage. Additionally, Figlak should be able to land takedowns and be the better grappler as well. I expect him to get his hand raised in front of his home crowd. Figlak by decision is the official pick.

Abusupiyan Magomedov vs Dustin Stoltzfus
Magomedov, -260; Stoltzfus, +220

Abusupiyan Magomedov is making his UFC debut this weekend as he previously fought in PFL and most recently KSW. He sports a 24-4 professional record with 19 wins coming inside the distance. He is a wild man on the feet but is very aggressive and does carry some knockout power. He has also shown the ability to land takedowns and hunt for submissions on the mat. His biggest issue is his recklessness on the feet and sharp counter strikers may be able to take advantage.

His opponent, Dustin Stoltzfus is coming off a decision victory over Dwight Grant in July. That win snapped a three-fight losing streak for him and was his first UFC win. Stoltzfus has never been someone that I am impressed with despite betting him against Grant in that last fight. He is a low volume striker that is leg kick reliant and wants to be grappling more often than not. The problem is that he is not a very strong grappler and if he is unable to land takedowns then he seems to be lost out there.

While the fight plays out on the feet, I expect Magomedov to be the more aggressive fighter moving forward and landing in bunches. Stoltzfus will likely try to mix in the takedowns once he realizes that he is lost on the feet, but I would be surprised if he has much success grappling in this matchup either. Magomedov seems like he could get exposed later on in the UFC, but I doubt Stoltzfus has the tools to do it here. Magomedov by TKO is the official pick.

Charles Jourdain vs Nathaniel Wood
Jourdain, -145; Wood, +125

Charles Jourdain is coming off a majority decision loss to Shane Burgos in what seemed controversial considering he outlanded him by a wide margin throughout the fight. Anyway, Jourdain is primaily a striker that will throw in high volume and put a pace on his opponents on the feet. His biggest issue is his defensive grappling as he only defends takedowns at 51% and can be controlled for extended periods. All of his losses in the UFC have come when he has been taken down multiple times and it continues to be an issue considering Burgos was able to initiate the same game plan once he was getting hurt on the feet.

His opponent, Nathaniel Wood is coming off a dominant performance victory over Charles Rosa in July. Wood is also a high-volume striker with a strong jab and nasty leg kicks, and he should be able to match the pace of Jourdain on the feet. Wood can also initiate the grappling as he averages over one takedown per 15 minutes and has five submission victories to his record. The issue with Wood has always been his durability as he has been knocked out multiple times and been finished in four of his five professional losses.

Despite the durability concerns of Wood, I have a hard time making him the underdog in this matchup. He is arguably as good of a striker than Jourdain and will be able to match the pace on the feet. But he also has the grappling upside if he needs to take it to the ground which has me favoring him in this matchup. Wood by decision is the official pick and he is a strong underdog target this week on DraftKings.

Nasrat Haqparast vs John Makdessi
Haqparast, -230; Makdessi, +195

Nasrat Haqparast is coming off a decision loss to Bobby Green at UFC 271 in February. After a strong start to his UFC career, he is currently on a two-fight losing streak. He fights out of the southpaw stance and is primarily a boxer with fast hands and clear power. He will throw in volume but as we saw against Green, he has no back up plan when he is unable to find his range and get his timing down.

His opponent, John Makdessi is coming off a split-decision win over Ignacio Bahamondes in April of last year. He is now 37 years old and coming off a decent layoff which is concerning but he proved last time out that you cannot overlook this guy. He is a very technical striker and will throw in volume and match the pace of Haqparast. The obvious concern is the age and durability as Makdessi has been knocked out twice in his career and Haqparast does have some power.

But I expect this fight to come down to the jab of Makdessi versus the power left hand of Haqparast and how often he is able to find those big shots. Despite the age and durability concerns of Makdessi, I see value on him as a big underdog in what will be a kickboxing match as neither guy ever looks to grapple. Makdessi by decision is the official pick and he is another live underdog on DraftKings this week.

Alessio Di Chirico vs Roman Kopylov
Di Chirico, -115; Kopylov, -105

Alessio Di Chirico is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan last August. He has just one win over his last five fights, but this should be a nice bounce back opportunity for him. Di Chirico has never been someone that I am high on, but he does have some skills. He seems to have a little power in the striking despite being too patient at times and can mix in takedowns as he averages 1.62 takedowns per 15 minutes.

His opponent, Roman Kopylov is coming off a decision loss to Albert Duraev at UFC 267 last October. He was an 8-0 prospect coming over to the UFC but has dropped his first two fights and may be fighting for his job in this spot. Seven of his eight wins have come by knockout and that is clearly his best asset being his power. However, he is very low volume and seems to have some defensive grappling concerns as well.

I expect this fight to be competitive in the striking and could come down to the durability of either fighter. I lean with Di Chirico being the more well-rounded fighter especially if he can mix in the grappling but I do not trust him whatsoever. Di Chirico by decision is the official pick but I will likely be overweight to Kopylov on DraftKings for the knockout upside and I am expecting Di Chirico to be much more popular.

Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori
Whittaker, -215; Vettori, +185

Robert Whittaker is fresh off the title shot loss at UFC 271 to Israel Adesanya in February. Over his last 14 fights, the only two losses came against the Middleweight champion, Adesanya. Whittaker is still one of the top dogs in this division and has a very well-rounded skillset. He has always been a very technical striker and will look to dance around the outside and pick his spots to land his combinations. He has also recently showed off the ground game more landing four takedowns in each of his last two fights although that likely will not be a path for him in this matchup.

His opponent, Marvin Vettori is coming off a decision victory over Paulo Costa in October. Like Whittaker, the only person to beat Vettori over his last 10 fights was Adesanya who beat him twice. Vettori is a tough opponent for anyone in the division as he is a solid striker with good boxing, and it complements his ground game well. He averages over two takedowns per 15 minutes and should be the more likely of the two to land takedowns although I am expecting this to be mainly fought on the feet.

I expect this to be a very competitive fight which makes me wonder why Vettori is nearly as big of an underdog in this fight than he was to Adesanya. He should be able to keep pace with Whittaker on the feet and this likely comes down to how the judges are viewing damage and volume, so I am treating Vettori as a live underdog in this matchup which makes him another strong underdog to target on DraftKings. Vettori by split-decision is the official pick.

Ciryl Gane vs Tai Tuivasa
Gane, -540; Tuivasa, +420

Which brings us to our main event in the Heavyweight division as Ciryl Gane faces off against Tai Tuivasa. Gane is coming off a title shot loss to Francis Ngannou in January at UFC 270. That was his first career loss and it basically came down to the wrestling of Ngannou which surprised many including Gane. Gane is a very technical kickboxer with clear power but rarely takes any unnecessary chances which makes him more of a point fighter that can hurt you at any moment but likely will not sell out for the finish. He also has a very competent ground game when he implements the grappling which could be another path to victory for him in this fight.

His opponent, Tai Tuivasa is coming off a second-round knockout victory over Derrick Lewis in February. He is currently on a five-fight win streak with all five wins coming by knockout and that is clearly how he wins fights as he will need to find the big shot to have a chance in this matchup. Despite the impressive shoeys and the awesome personality, Tuivasa is drawing very thin here as Gane is historically very good at limiting the damage of his opponents and can win this fight wherever the fight goes. Gane by TKO is the official pick and he is an obvious target on DraftKings this week.