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UFC predictions
UFC predictions

The UFC heads to France with native son Cyril Gane headlining the card against Serghei Spivac in main event heavyweight bout. Here are our best bets for Saturday’s UFC card based on the odds from our best sportsbooks.

Gane competes on home soil following a submission loss to Jon Jones in a heavyweight title bout at UFC 285 in March. The last time he competed in Paris, the Frenchman knocked out Tai Tuivasa, and he now meets Spivac with a UFC record of 8-2.

Spivac enters Saturday’s main event with three straight stoppage wins to his name, the last of which being a submission of Derrick Lewis in February. His promotional record sits at 7-3, with five Octagon victories coming inside the distance.

In the co-main event, former strawweight queen Rose Namajunas makes her flyweight debut opposite France’s Manon Fiorot. The two-time titleholder moves up to 125 pounds after losing her crown to Carla Esparza by a split decision in May 2022 at UFC 274, while Fiorot most recently claimed a unanimous verdict over Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 280 last October.

Here are our best bets for Saturday’s UFC Paris and UFC picks (odds via our best sports betting apps; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

UFC Paris schedule & odds

(odds via DraftKings)

Main Card (3 p.m. ET):

Prelims (12:30 p.m. ET):

UFC Paris best bets

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Top picks for UFC Paris

Fight line: Saint-Denis ML vs. Moises (-166 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Oddly enough, clashes between grapplers often result in (mostly) tepid striking battles, and should that be the case for Saint-Denis and Moises, I believe the former boasts the edge.

France’s Saint-Denis is not only game, but he's also far more active than Moises with his mitts, landing 4.11 significant strikes per minute to the latter’s 2.47. Furthermore, the tape suggests Saint-Denis will be the one pushing the action, and if he can stay the busier fighter and make Moises panic-wrestle, he could even regale the crowd in his home country with a stoppage by club-and-sub.

Upset: Spivac ML vs. Gane (+160 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Granted, Gane is Spivac’s stiffest test yet, but the Moldovan underdog’s wrestling, top control, and submission game could be enough to spoil Gane’s homecoming. Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou, of all people, exposed Gane’s deficiencies on the mat in recent defeats, and I suspect Spivac will repeat the feat, as he averages a gaudy 5.05 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Provided he can get in the rangy Gane’s face, look for Spivac to make Saturday’s headliner ugly, get Gane to the mat, and either chew the clock from top position or add another arm-triangle choke to his resume.

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Winning method: Fiorot by KO/TKO vs. Namajunas (+275 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

While Namajunas has fallen by KO only once, I think Fiorot can change that, and for several reasons.

First, she lands an absurd 6.58 significant strikes per minute to Namajunas’ 3.66, and second, she’s put six women away by KO/TKO in 10 career victories. Third, Fiorot’s distance striking and active kicking game can deter Namajunas from getting inside, and perhaps most importantly, Namajunas is a natural strawweight who may learn what a difference 10 pounds can make - the hard way.

In short, look for Fiorot to probe Namajunas early and often with kicks, prompt her to rush inside, and make her pay for it in brutal fashion.

Prop bet: Loosa vs. McKee Under 2.5 rounds (+114 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

This preliminary battle of welterweight bruisers shouldn’t require the judges’ participation. Yes, Loosa has earned only five of his nine wins by KO/TKO, but he lands 6.24 significant strikes per minute and scored nearly 130 of them in last year’s clash with AJ Fletcher.

McKee, by comparison, boasts 10 KO/TKO stoppages in 13 career victories. In other words, each man will get the kind of fight he wants, and with both looking to throw heaps of leather from the opening bell, one of these welterweights should leave Paris with another stoppage victory to their name.

Parlay: Loosa vs. McKee ends by KO/TKO (+150) + Saint-Denis vs. Moises doesn’t go the distance (-165) + Fiorot ML (-198) = +504 via DraftKings ⭐⭐⭐

UFC best bets made 1/9/2023 at 12:04 a.m. ET.

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