In a boiling Bercy which has reinforced the reputation of the French public, the French fighters have won their fight against dangerous opponents and are close to faultless.
At the Accor Arena in Bercy
Notre Dame de Paris. The fight of Manon Fiorot against the legend Rose Namajunas is the most important that has yet taken place on French soil. Logic dictates that the winner lands a fight against the champion for the flyweight belt. Bet won for the Niçoise coached by Aldric Cassata (Boxing squad team). Rose Namajunas was muzzled by the power and reach of Fiorot, could only offer low-kicks that hurt her as much as our compatriot. This sort of semi-final for the belt was promised to Manon who was only worried by an (unintentional) headbutt from Namajunas which split her temple and caused a stream of blood to flow down her blond hair. Fiorot showed up still bloody at the press conference but all smiles: she knew she had made French MMA and women’s MMA proud. In his corner there was Christophe Midoux, the first Frenchman to have fought in the UFC (in 2006). The closest Frenchman to winning a first undisputed belt is a Frenchwoman.
Give honour where honour is due : “good kidwas excellent. Ciryl Gane needed a victory with the manner to hope to one day have a third chance to win the heavyweight belt of the UFC. Tonight’s fight was a trap fight. Serghei Spivac, younger and much lower ranked, was on paper an inferior opponent. But in this weight class, one shot can lay his man down. In addition, Spivak has excellent judo and the wrestling phases are the nightmare of Ciryl Gane, who owes her rise to her gifted Thai boxing. For two rounds that he dominated from the head and shoulders, Gane played Gane: relaxed, calm, he constantly changed guard, struck to the body and to the head in a rhythmic rhythm. Both of Spivak’s wrestling attempts were effectively defended with explosiveness (what an athlete Ciryl is!). Once Spivak was worn out (faster than expected), Fernand Lopez’s MMA Factory resident dislocated his defense with knees before finishing the job with his fists. There is a level chasm between first and eighth in the category. Gane dotted the i’s again.
With this remarkable victory he should enter the top 15 of the densest weight category of all combat sports combined. Benoit Saint-Denis beat the Brazilian Thiago Moises by technical knockout after two sumptuous recoveries. The fight had however started a little badly with two momentary stops in quick succession for kicks from Saint-Denis on the shell of Moises. Not enough to distract the former special forces who offered a new demonstration of his impermeable mind. True to his very engaged style, he used a full range of skills, mixing strikes (foot, fist, elbow, body, head) with wrestling and jiu-jitsu (offensive and defensive). The pupil of Daniel Woirin and Christophe Savoca outclassed Thiago Moises in every area, including physically. The end of the fight (Moises, glued to the cage one knee on the ground protects his temple and BSD hits it like a punching bag) symbolizes very well the complete domination of Benoît. The two fighters, Moises having been hard on evil and a fighter, leave with the bonus of “fight of the night». «God of warSaint-Denis has made Paris his backyard, and sent a powerful message to the lightweights: Moises has only lost to fighters who have risen very high next.
Benoît Saint-Denis savors his victory against the Brazilian Thiago Moises. JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP.
Unfortunately, he won’t be able to celebrate his victory with a free spirit: William Gomis win against Yanis Ghemmouri on a decision of the referee which will remain controversial. This first Franco-French fight in the history of the UFC (Yanis Ghemmouri is Franco-Algerian) was a sort of tricolor MMA classico: the two best French management teams (Fernand Lopez’s management factory and the Bulgarian top team by Guillaume Peltier) saw their fighters clash. Unfortunately the party was ruined when the referee ended the fight on a kick from Gomis, apparently believing it to be a blow to the liver which would have put Ghemmouri TKO while the latter, had stopped to have been touched in parts. Gomis had presumably taken the first two innings, and at this stage deserved victory, but this decision deprives him of an outright victory, deprives Ghemmouri of a resumption that could have changed everything, and the public of a clash pleasant to see. Frustrating.
The very endearing Morgan Charrière won a convincing fight against Manolo Zecchini in his first UFC fight in a tough category. He managed the first round with his English boxing before deploying his kicks in the second round. Two kicks to the liver later,”the last hackerjustified his dearly acquired place in the most prestigious of organizations. He walks away with the bonus of “performance of the evening».
Morgan Charrière in his works. JULIAN DE ROSA / AFP
The ghost Taylor Lapilus (coached by Johnny Frachey, US Metro team) was matched against a tough opponent, Caolan Loughran. This beefy Irishman had been particularly rude and vulgar at the weigh-in, vis-à-vis the public and French MMA. He assumed by starting his fight by framing Lapilus, but his confidence flew away at the same time as his cardio, and his control phases became more and more sterile. Conversely, Lapilus set the target, more and more countered his opponent, hit him again and again with his jab, before accelerating at the end of the fight to seal his victory. Clean, patient, a quality return seven years later.
For his first fight in the UFC, Nora Cornolle (BTT team) got a little scared. She struggled to express her “stricking», Well mastered by the Panamanian Joselyne Edwards and her judo. Fortunately, she scored the judges with her significant damage in the small spaces she cleared, for a narrow victory.
It was the last disappointment for Zara Fairn. His record is now four defeats for as many fights in the UFC. In a not very offensive fight where she never really attacked, she was logically beaten by a young Portuguese named Jacqueline Cavalcanti who was obviously hungrier. Too bad to leave the UFC on a fight with so little commitment. Thank you all the same for having paved the way by being the first French woman to fight in the UFC.
Finally, they were fighting a little at home: Volkan Özdemir (French-speaking Switzerland) and Ange Loosa (French-speaking Swiss of Congolese origin) beat their adversaries, respectively Bogdan Guskov and the brave Rhys McKee.
The audience. At the microphone, the former champion (English!) Michael Bisping acknowledged that the atmosphere in Paris can be considered the best in the world. Marseilles, encouragement, songs, tremors, a few flags despite the ban (geopolitics requires), the atmosphere was once again boiling hot. Hexagonal fighters feel their wings growing there. We feared that the atmosphere of UFC Paris I was linked to the big premiere, it is not so. Can’t wait for UFC Paris III.
The performance of French MMA. There were no easy fights, no giveaways from the UFC tonight. Yet with the exception of the first fight and the Franco-French shock, our fighters won with style. The organization expressed at a press conference its great satisfaction with the place that France is rapidly taking, and the quality of the services.
We didn’t like
The arbitration decision during the Gomis vs. Ghemmouri fight tarnished the evening with a confused session. The two fighters were ready to continue fighting, they should have been left. Their spite was hard to see. Hoping for a rematch between these gentlemen.