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We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Paris! We have a fun 11-fight slate on DraftKings and hopefully we do not have any fights fall off. It also helps that on DraftKings we have another $100,000 to first place in the main contest.

Jacqueline Cavalcanti vs Zarah Fairn
Cavalcanti, -375, Fairn, +295

Jacqueline Cavalcanti is making her UFC debut this weekend. She is a 5-1 prospect fighting out of Portugal and three of those wins have come by knockout. She is the former Bantamweight champion in LFA and has a good opportunity to make a statement in her UFC debut. She is primarily a striker and has some power in her hands but has also gassed out in the past and does not seem to have a great ground game.

Her opponent, Zarah Fairn is coming off a decision loss to Josiane Nunes at UFC 281 in January. She is 0-3 in the UFC and was finished inside the first round in two of those fights. She is big for the division and has some powerful striking but is very one-dimensional. She gets sloppy defensively and eats a ton of shots along with struggling to defend takedowns and lacking a true ground game.

This is a low-level fight and one that I do not have much interest in for DraftKings. Fairn is a little tempting on DraftKings just because she is so cheap but only if playing multiple lineups. Cavalcanti by decision is the official pick.

Farid Basharat vs Kleydson Rodrigues
Basharat, -325; Rodriguez, +260

Farid Basharat is coming off a decision victory over Da’Mon Blackshear in March at UFC 285. He is a 10-0 undefeated prospect and the younger brother of UFC fighter, Javid Basharat. Of his 10 victories, five of them have come by submission. He is a good striker with fast hands and sharp leg kicks but also has a well-rounded ground game. He is a very skilled prospect, but I do think he is overrated by the market to a degree.

His opponent, Kleydson Rodrigues is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Shannon Ross in February. He was scheduled to fight Tatsuro Taira in June but came in three pounds over the limit and the fight was scrapped. He is a powerful striker that wants to move forward and put a pace on his opponents. He keeps a high output and has legitimate knockout power with four of his eight career wins coming in that fashion. Rodrigues is well-rounded on the mat as well and difficult to control as well.

Basharat is the rightful favorite, but I feel the line is a bit wide as this fight should be very competitive early. I favor Basharat’s gas tank down the stretch and expect him to take over late. Basharat by decision is the official pick but I will have some exposure to both sides on DraftKings with a lean towards the underdog for the price savings.

Joselyne Edwards vs Nora Cornolle
Edwards, -112; Cornolle, -108

Joselyne Edwards is coming off a split-decision victory over Lucie Pudilova in April. Surprisingly, she is on a three-fight winning streak despite many people making an argument that she lost each of those fights. I have never been big on Edwards as a fighter. She is a one-dimensional striker and will stay active with the kicking attack. However, she does not carry any power whatsoever and is mostly just empty volume. She also historically slows down in fights and struggles to defend takedowns as well.

Her opponent, Nora Cornolle is making her UFC debut this weekend. She is a 6-1 prospect fighting out of France. Her only career loss came against Cavalcanti who is also fighting on this card. Of her six victories, five of them have come by knockout and four of them were inside the first round. She is a fast starter and capable finisher but has fought low competition on the regional scene and Edwards is likely one of the better strikers she has faced. She seems to have the power advantage in this matchup and is aggressive on the mat as well although she is very sloppy and can be reversed by competent grapplers.

This is another low-level WMMA fight. That being said, you guys know I simply cannot in good faith expect Edwards to squeak another split-decision victory. Cornolle is green and still clearly needs to make some improvements, but I am willing to back her in this fight as the more physical fighter who is going to be more aggressive as well. Cornolle by decision is the official pick.

Ange Loosa vs Rhys McKee
Loosa, -180; McKee, +150

We last saw Ange Loosa in the octagon at UFC 278 in August as he won a decision over AJ Fletcher. Loosa is a powerful striker and keeps a good pace on the feet, but he is hittable and has been stung multiple times. He is well-rounded though and capable of landing takedowns and is a very physical fighter. But his cardio has been suspect at times as he has slowed down in extended fights in the past.

His opponent, Rhys McKee is coming off a Welterweight championship main event victory in Cage Warriors. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak since being cut from the UFC. He is very long for the division and will be working with a four-inch reach advantage in this fight. Of his 13 career victories, all of them have come inside the distance and 10 of them were by knockout. He is a powerful striker on the feet but can be taken down and out grappled.

This is a fun matchup and I expect these two to bang it out from the opening bell. Both fighters have knockout upside, but I favor the athleticism and the wrestling upside of Loosa who should also be landing the bigger shots over the course of the fight. Loosa by TKO is the official pick.

Taylor Lapilus vs Caolan Loughran
Lapilus, -170; Loughran, +142

Taylor Lapilus previously fought in the UFC from 2015-16 and went 3-1 inside the promotion. He sports an 18-3 overall record with 10 of those wins coming inside the distance. He is primarily a kickboxer and fights out of the southpaw stance with powerful punches and knees in the clinch. His takedown defense is pretty solid as well, so you better have some good wrestling and cardio if you plan to grapple him.

His opponent, Caolan Loughran is making his UFC debut this weekend. He is the former Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion and has an undefeated 8-0 professional record. Of his eight victories, seven of them have come by finish. He is a well-rounded prospect with power in his hands and a solid ground game as well. But this is likely the toughest test for him and he will need to have grappling success to win this fight.

I favor the striking of Lapilus and he is the more proven fighter as well. He has shown some solid takedown defense in the past and I expect him to mostly keep this one standing and be winning the exchanges on the feet. Lapilus by decision is the official pick but I will have some exposure to Loughran due to the potential wrestling upside.

Morgan Charriere vs Manolo Zecchini
Charriere, -340; Zecchini, +270

Morgan Charriere is making his UFC debut this weekend in front of his home crowd in France. His record is 18-9 with 10 of his wins coming by knockout. He is a well-rounded prospect with powerful striking and a solid ground game as well. He is a dynamic athlete and can fight behind his jab and mix in some heavy leg kicks as well. He is also very durable and has never been knocked out in his career.

His opponent, Manolo Zecchini is making his UFC debut as well. He previously fought on the Italian regional scene and sports an 11-3 professional record. Of his 11 wins, eight of them have come by knockout. He seems to have some power and will go for it early in the fight but he has some holes that can be exploited here. He seems to slow as the fight goes on and struggles defensively in terms of the grappling as well.

I favor Charriere significantly in terms of skill in this fight. I do not trust the durability or defense of Zecchini and think he likely gets finished in this one. Charriere by TKO is the official pick and this is a good fight to target on DraftKings.

William Gomis vs Yanis Ghemmouri
Gomis, -205; Ghemmouri, +170

William Gomis is coming off a split-decision victory over Francis Marshall in April. He is 2-0 in the UFC but both came in uninspiring fashion and many people thought he lost his last fight. He is a low-volume one-dimensional kickboxer and just does not put enough activity out there to convincingly win rounds. He has also shown the ability to land takedowns but he does not do enough with them to really score points. But what makes him so difficult is that he is long and awkward and it makes it hard for his opponents to get a good read on him and connect clean.

His opponent, Yanis Ghemmouri is another UFC debutant this weekend. He is a 12-1 prospect fighting out of France as well. Of his 12 victories, seven of them have come inside the distance. He seems to have a decent skillset as he has a similar style to Gomis. He is mainly a kickboxer and has some power as well but also has the ability to land takedowns and should have the grappling advantage in this fight.

You guys know that I never like backing fighters with Gomis style especially at a big favorite price tag. For that reason and because I expect this fight to play out closer to a pick em, I am siding with the underdog who should be the more aggressive fighter and be able to land a few takedowns. Ghemmouri by decision is the official pick.

Volkan Oezdemir vs Bogdan Guskov
Oezdemir, -185; Guskov, +154

Volkan Oezdemir is coming off a decision loss to Nikita Krylov last October. He has now lost three of his last four fights but those losses came against some of the best guys in the division. Oezdemir seems to have lost a step but he is still a tough test for upcoming Light Heavyweight prospects. He has legitimate knockout power and is usually difficult to grapple although Krylov took him down repeatedly last fight. The worry with Oezdemir is that the durability is not what it used to be as we have seen him hurt multiple times now and he has been finished four times in his career.

His opponent, Bogdan Guskov is yet another UFC debutant fighter this weekend. He has a 14-2 professional record and all of his wins have come by finish. Only a couple of his fights have ever made it past the first round as the majority are first-round knockout victories. He seems to have legitimate punching power but I am not sure what else he has to offer. He has also faced nothing but tomato cans on the regional scene so it is yet to be determined if those knockouts will translate to UFC success. We have seen this song and dance plenty of times before and Guskov smells like a padded record fraud but even so, he has a shot to land something big against an aging Oezdemir.

This is a great fight to target on DraftKings as I am expecting a finish one way or the other. I will have exposure to both sides but the official pick is Oezdemir by TKO.

Benoit Saint-Denis vs Thiago Moises
Saint-Denis, -162; Moises, +136

Benoit Saint-Denis is coming off an impressive performance with a first-round submission victory over Ismael Bonfim in July. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak since dropping his UFC debut and all three wins have come by finish. He is primarily a grappler and averages nearly four takedowns per 15 minutes. He is a dangerous finisher as well as all 11 of his career wins have come inside the distance and he has only reached the third round twice in his career.

His opponent, Thiago Moises is coming off a second-round submission victory over Melquizael Costa at UFC 281 in January. Moises is primarily a grappler as well and holds a black belt in BJJ but is much less aggressive in getting the fight to the ground. On the feet, he carries some power but is very low volume and is not going to blow anyone away on the feet. He has also been susceptible to giving up the takedowns against better wrestlers which I think will come into play here.

I favor Saint-Denis as the more aggressive fighter who should be more active as well both on the feet and initiating the grappling. Saint-Denis by TKO is the official pick.

Manon Fiorot vs Rose Namajunas
Fiorot, -205; Namajunas, +170

Manon Fiorot is coming off a decision victory over Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 280 in October. She is now 5-0 in the UFC and 10-1 overall with six of her wins coming by knockout. She is a very well-rounded fighter and one of the best prospects in the division. She keeps a high pace on the feet and has some serious power as well. She is also capable of mixing in the takedowns as she averages 1.69 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Her opponent, Rose Namajunas is moving up to 125 lbs. after a 15-month layoff. She most recently fought Carla Esparza for the Strawweight championship and lost via split-decision. When Namajunas is at her best, she is an excellent striker who is very technical and has underrated power. She is also a slick submission grappler with five submission victories to her credit. The issue with Rose is that she has struggled mentally in the past so you can never be sure that you are going to get the best version of her. Now, she is moving up a weight class and admitted to thinking she was done with fighting altogether which are some legitimate red flags.

Despite the concerns on Namajunas, I do think she has the skillset to make this a very competitive fight. I expect Fiorot to be more active and aggressive along with having the takedown upside, but she better mind her P’s and Q’s against someone as dangerous as Namajunas. Fiorot by decision is the official pick but I will have exposure to both sides on DraftKings.

Cyril Gane vs Serghei Spivac
Gane, -185; Spivac, +154

Cyril Gane makes his return to the octagon after getting steamrolled by Jon Jones at UFC 285 in March. This time, he is in front of his home crowd and looks to get back in the win column against a surging up and coming prospect. Gane is a high-level kickboxer who keeps a high pace for Heavyweight and manages range with the best of them. Despite being one of the best strikers in the division, he has struggled to defend takedowns at less than 50% and that has been his undoing in both of his losses.

His opponent, Serghei Spivac is coming off a first-round submission victory over Derrick Lewis in February. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak and has won six of his last seven bouts. Spivac is not a good striker, but he only strikes long enough to get in close and initiate the takedowns. He averages over five takedowns per 15 minutes and he needs to get this fight to the ground early and often. If he is able to peel you to the ground he has strong ground and pound and will hunt for submissions as well as he has seven submission victories to his credit.

This fight is a binary matchup because if it stays standing then Gane should be dominating and possibly even gets the knockout victory. But if Spivac is able to land takedowns and get his grappling going then he should have his way with Gane on the mat. I will target both sides of this fight but definitely lean towards the underdog in Spivac based on the holes we have seen from Gane’s defensive grappling. Spivac by submission is the official pick.