By all accounts, the UFC’s first trip to France appears to have been a success. The card provided some great action and finishes, not to mention the fact that local fighters went a perfect 5-0 on the night.
With plenty of impressive performances to choose from, the card’s two Performance of the Night bonuses went to a pair of brutal finishes and Fight of the Night went to the evening’s heavyweight main event.
Performance Of The Night Bonuses
Benoit Saint-Denis became the first French fighter to pick up a UFC victory on home soil when he stopped Gabriel Miranda in the second round of their lightweight bout.
“God of War” nearly stopped Miranda at the end of the first round, and the 26-year-old only needed another 16-seconds to finish the job with strikes.
After famously debuting in a one-sided beat down at the hands of Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in 2021, Saint-Denis now has 2-straight wins and earned a Performance of the Night bonus for this victory over Miranda.
The performances of French fighters dominated a lot of the narrative at UFC Paris, but Germany’s Abus Magomedov also provided one of the most memorable UFC debuts in recent memory.
Facing Dustin Stoltzfus, the bout had barely gotten started when Magomedov front kicked Stoltzfus in the face and followed up with punches to finish the fight.
Magomedov will be pleased to have made such an emphatic UFC debut, but the extra $50K he pocketed for his performance likely makes the win even more satisfying.
Fight Of The Night
The main event of UFC Paris was a heavyweight contest between former interim title holder Cyril Gane and Tai Tuivasa. While heavyweight bouts can occasionally turn into slow affairs, the two men managed to fit a tremendous amount of action into just under 3 rounds of fight time.
At one point in the second round Tuivasa sat his French opponent down with a right hand, but Gane managed to recover before hurting “Bam Bam” with body kicks.
Tuivasa continued swinging back in the hopes of another knockdown, but the damage from Gane eventually piled up. After several moments where Tuivasa looked close to being stopped, “Bon Gamin” completed a brutal finishing sequence at the end of the third round.
The French crowd went wild for Gane’s victory as well as the performances from both fighters, resulting in a well-deserved $50K bonus for Fight of the Night.
What are your thoughts on the bonus winners for UFC Paris?