UFC Paris: Fares Ziam Wants Big KO for First Stoppage Inside the Octagon

Paris, France — It wasn’t so long ago that it appeared Fares Ziam’s days with the UFC were over.

A few months back, having completed his existing contract, it was reported that he had not been re-signed by the promotion. But with UFC Paris on the horizon, Ziam (12-4), who has gone 2-2 inside the octagon, has been brought back.

“For this fight, it’s a new contract,” he told Cageside Press and other media outlets during Thursday’s UFC Paris media day. “I’m happy to have a new contract, because before I was not kept. But I’m free. I’m happy, I have a new contract, I feel good for my performance.”

Ahead of the promotion’s French debut, Ziam is both feeling good, and feeling the pressure.

“I feel heavy pressure, because my family, my fans, my friends come,” he admitted. “But it’s good pressure. I’m excited.”

All along, he believed this day would arrive — that France would legalize mixed martial arts (it did so in 2020), and that the UFC would visit, with him fighting on the card. While the coronavirus delayed things, that day is finally nigh.

“Yes, of course. A long time I wait for this, and I wait for UFC in Paris, France.”

Ziam will be meeting a newcomer at the Paris show this Saturday, Michal Figlak. He may not be a household name, but Figlak has made an impression in U.K. promotion Cage Warriors.

“Before I don’t know him, and I wasn’t supposed to fight him before. Before, I was supposed to fight a guy from Belgium. But happy [for] this fight,” Ziam replied when asked about his opponent. “I’m confident, it’s a good fight for me. A good fight to be the Fight of the Night or Performance [of the Night].”

As for his prediction, Ziam just wants to “have a very good fight,” but he’s also looking for a stoppage. “I want all my skills [to be] good. But I want to finish the fight. I want my first finish in UFC in Paris, for the fans, and I want a big knockout.”

Watch the full UFC Paris media day appearance by Fares Ziam above. The event takes place this Saturday, September 3, 2022 at the Accor Arena in Paris, France.