Why this evening is historic and not to be missed

Why this evening is historic and not to be missed

A juggernaut of global sport, popular all over the world, the UFC is coming to France for the first time this Saturday in Paris (Live on RMC Sport 2). A historical event not to be missed. RMC Sport explains why.

Because it’s the first big success

The UFC has been waiting for this for over a decade. But in France, for a long time, the largest MMA organization worldwide had to be patient. Professional MMA competitions were allowed in our country just over two years ago, in the spring of 2020, after a long battle and with a dedicated Federal Entity (FMMAF) as a companion for the time being under the auspices of the French Boxing Federation.

>> Follow the history of UFC Paris with RMC Sport offers

Measures of the pandemic behind us, the UFC decided to take the lead: organizing the first event in France in its history, which began nearly thirty years ago in 1993. The event takes place this Saturday at the AccorArena de Bercy, in Paris, and is historic because it is awaited by MMA pioneers. France for more than twenty years. Sold for more than $4 billion to sports business giant WME-IMG in 2016, a cash machine with profits exceeding $1 billion in 2021, the UFC is a tyrannical force in global sports and the largest entity in the world of combat sports, which is becoming more and more popular in the all over the world over the years.

His arrival in France, the eleventh country visited by the organization in Europe, confirmed this phenomenon: Bercy will be filled with stores, more than 15,000 people and record $ 3.3 million in box office revenue with high seats in … ten minutes when the ticket office opens at the end of June . Perfect for highlighting a sport that has long been derided in France and promoting its development. But also to encourage the UFC to come back. So much better: they have motivation. Lawrence Epstein, its general manager, promised “one event a year in Paris, and another elsewhere in France” in an interview with RMC Sport. The UFC meteor will fall on our country on Saturday. It is here to stay.

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Because the French MMA star grabs the headlines

For this historic first time, the UFC has put the small French dishes on the big plates. The leader is National MMA star Cyril Jean, the former interim heavyweight champion who missed the march to the undisputed title against champion Francis Ngannou in January. Bon Jamin, who wears his nickname well due to his lively personality, will take on Australian Tai Toivasa, a knockout machine that takes down opponents with the power of his fist. Gifted with discipline, and able to drive adversity into madness with the qualities of his moves and striking (endless fighting), the boy from La Roche-sur-Yon saw a huge rise in MMA, fighting in the Pro for the first time for four years and a month ago.

Just over seven months after the defeat to Ngannou, the first of his martial arts career (he went for the first time through Muay Thai), Ciryl Gane is back in the cage with a desire to reclaim victory to stay in the title debate, the cup still to be conquered. The sacred to French MMA, and the desire to leave a mark on the public for this first UFC event in France. He still takes first place in the rating of competitors, and will have to avoid lightning in the fist of Tuivasa (third), a very likable character who comes to the party “niq ***”. But his technical quality should be able to allow him to benefit in a battle approaching the skin of the senior candidate.

Because there is another big shock and some gold coins

Robert Whitaker vs. Marvin Vittori. The second main event (co-main event) of UFC Paris, between the New Zealander and the Italian, will be at the forefront of most Fight Night cards (the second tier after numbered events, sold on a pay-per-view basis in the US) of the year. At the premiere in France, the great organization of MMA made a gift to the local audience by presenting this Gane-Tuivasa clash between the numbers one of the means competitors ranking.

Both were defeated twice by Israel Adesanya, the current champion, they must win to maintain their place in the race for the belt. And I hope the champion is defeated in November by Alex Pereira, his former kickboxing rival (who beat him twice in this system), to quickly find an opportunity. Other fights without a local representative will be worth a visit for the first UFC in Paris.

Charles Jordan of Quebec, so happy to fight in a country his culture has shaped him (he who says so), will take on Briton Nathaniel Wood in what many already imagine as the “Fight of the Evening” (there is a $50,000 bounty for its heroes) given the What can the two send? A prestige that can be claimed by the confrontation between the Canadian John Makdisi and the German Afghan Nusrat Haqprast, also generous fighters. MMA fans and Bercy spectators, including many expected stars, will have some dessert to eat at the first UFC Paris.

Because it’s not just Jin on the bill on the French side

Cyril Jean is not alone. In all, there are five French actors on the program of their country’s first UFC event. In the event of losing several soldiers, the best French UFC team Manon Fiorot or RMC Sport advisor Taylor Lapilus, both of whom have withdrawn due to injury, or even Cédric Doumbé and Abdoul Abdouraguimov for various reasons, many French talents will want to shine at home and delight the audience.

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Benoit Saint-Denis, a former member of the Army’s Special Forces before turning to MMA, will open up the French sprint during his “initial card” against Brazilian Gabriel Miranda, who looks pretty much his way. Nassruddin Imafov, a formidable talent who occupies the 12th place in the means rating, will follow in a big step against the amazing American Joaquin Buckle who everyone hopes to see dominate. Lyonnais Faris Ziam will continue in a battle that is not easy with anything against Austrian Michel Vijlac, who is still undefeated in MMA (8-0).

In addition to Gane, the main card will feature the fight against William Gomis, which is a great story for the evening as a surprise guest who learned he was at UFC Paris ten days before the event. When you’re abroad, the UFC loves to see local fighters put on a show and excite my (TV) viewers, like the two evenings in London since the start of the season. With all these confrontations, France can follow the example of the movement. But nothing will be easy.

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