The UFC on ESPN 53, or simply the UFC Paris as some call it, includes the main event in which the home favorite Ciryl Gane clashes with Sergey Spivak. Gane was the heavyweight title challenger on two occasions, but he couldn’t reach the belt, losing to Francis Ngannou and, after that, to Jon Jones. Spivak is one of those guys who might lift the title in the future. With only 28 years he has a solid background and plenty of experience for his age.
Ciryl Gane (11-2, -185) lost two of his past three events, up until which he had 10 victories in a row. Bon Gamin was on the wrong side of the decision against Ngannou, then he KOd Tai Tuivasa before being submitted against Jon Jones. Those two defeats cost him the title belt, but the Frenchman believes there is enough time for him to come back.
A victory in this event is absolutely necessary for Gane, who needs to bounce back following the loss to Jones. He has solid experience in 13 bouts, posting wins over Tanner Boser, Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Alexander Volkov, and Derrick Lewis.
A very versatile in stand up, Gane’s kickboxing is extremely dangerous. His speed and reflexes are solid for such a massive guy, and we’ve seen that his chin is also very defiant. On the mat, he isn’t that skilled, which is the reason why Ngannou beat him.
Sergey Spivak (13-3, +156) rides a three-bout winning streak and is one of the better guys in the division. His only loss in the recent seven events was against Tom Aspinall, but after that, the Moldovan came back on the right path beating Greg Hardy, Augusto Sakai, and Derrick Lewis in the most recent of his appearances inside the octagon.
Spivak is a solid wrestler and grappler, with seven of his victories coming by way of submission. He has a solid fighting IQ and knows to adjust to certain situations while the fight still lasts. In general, the pivotal issue of his game is wrestling, from where he either collects points or crushes the rival’s defense and proceeds with ground and pound.
Besides beating the above-mentioned guys, Spivak also had success over Tai Tuivasa, Carlos Felipe, and Aleksei Oleinik. The losses were against Walth Harris, Marcin Tybura, and Aspinal. Some of his challenges may have come earlier than normal, which is why analysts predict his boom over the next three years.
This might be a very nasty matchup for Gane, who proved in the past that he isn’t getting along well with guys who wrestle well. Now, Spivak is one such fighter, who learned his lesson when it comes to facing fan favorites on enemy turf (Aspinall fight) and now aims to correct his mistakes. This looks like a very close fight, despite Gane being a strong favorite, according to the odds. In our opinion, we should see a decision here, because both guys have similar qualities, and they won’t be eager to rush into anything, nor to look for a stoppage victory.
Pick: Fight going to the distance
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.