Fares Ziam will carry the flag for French MMA when he makes his promotional debut at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.
The UFC is coming to Abu Dhabi this week for UFC 242, with a lightweight title unification fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier topping the card. The event has suffered many hits and has had many late fights made. As of now, the card holds four UFC debuts. One of those debuts is a native of France, Fares Ziam, who will take this bout on short notice. He will fight South African Don Madge after his original opponent Magomed Mustafaev pulled out due to unknown reasons.
4 Submissions (Guillotine, Rear-naked Choke, Armbar, Arm-triangle)
How will Ziam fare in the UFC:
Ziam has a background in kickboxing as he’s a former K1 European champion. Being a kickboxer you can expect his takedown defense to be constantly be tested. As it has been to date. Ziam has been taken down many times in his career. While it’s gotten better, takedown defense is still going to be a big problem in the UFC.
France’s Ziam is solid on the feet and throws excellent leg kicks landing with consistency throughout his fights. He also does a great job throwing leg kicks at the end of combinations. Ziam has good hands, is pretty quick and counters well. With that said, he needs to throw more, rather than just relying on his kicks. Ziam has some underrated wrestling as well with a good understanding of takedowns from the clinch. He has finished by submissions and ground and pound showing he’s well rounded. His grappling ability isn’t one you’d rate as high level however as his transitions and positions tend to get loose and sloppy. On the feet, he is offensively skilled but the key worry is on the defensive side. He’s easily hit and tends to be the one muscled around more than he should. Prediction: He will go 2-2 in his first four UFC fights.
How Ziam matches up with Madge:
Madge is a savage who always gets right at it, that being the reason he has a 100% finish rate. Both athletes are well-rounded offensively but Madge is way more polished. Ziam may be the more skilled kickboxer but Madge just hits harder, is more aggressive, and may be the faster fighter. Madge could also very well take Ziam down which could be the big factor. Ziam coming into the UFC at only 22-years-old against a guy like Madge and on short notice, it’s hard not to side with Madge in this fight.