UFC Paris, 2023 edition, didn’t have the same star power behind it that the promotion’s debut in France one year ago did. But the French faithful didn’t seem to fret over the lack of names on Saturday’s Fight Night card all that much, letting their voices be heard early and often throughout the event at the Accor Arena.
In all honesty, the fans deserved a performance bonus all their own, as they cheered raucously for their countrymen (and women) and serenaded invading forces like Caolan Loughran with a chorus of jeers and boos even early in the night.
In actuality, it was some big performances on the main card that took home the bonus money, however. Arguably there was no one bigger performance on the card than that of Ciryl Gane, the French heavyweight and former interim champ once again headlining the show. Just as he did a year ago against Tai Tuivasa, Gane found the finish early at UFC Paris, battering Serghei Spivac in the second round as the Moldovan covered up along the fence.
If there were any questions about Gane’s takedown defense heading into the fight, he answered at least some of them. Lest you think “Bon Gamin” might need time away to regroup, it’s clear he remains a contender, despite his setback against Jon Jones earlier this year.
No fight entertained more, however, than the lightweight war between Benoit Saint-Denis and Thiago Moises. As cliche as such comments might be, the fight very much was a war, with Saint-Denis delivering an impressive amount of damage to the Brazilian, surviving a kneebar attempt, and eventually claiming the TKO victory.
The final bonus at this year’s UFC Paris card went to newcomer Morgan Charriere, who landed several kicks to the body of Manolo Zecchini to claim his own TKO finish.
All four fighters are set to take home an extra $50,000 USD for their efforts, on top of their show/win money, outfitting pay, etc.