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UFC Fight Night Paris main card preview & best bets – 3/9/2022

UFC betting

The UFC Fight Night main card from Paris features several European fighters looking to impress foreign audiences and make a name for themselves under the bright lights. We have selected some of the more interesting matchups for closer analysis.

Alessio Di Chirico $1.90 v Roman Kopylov $1.90

Alessio Di Chirico (13-6-0) is an Italian fighter who started his sporting career playing American football for the Roman Grizzlies. He started fight training to lose weight, fell in love with the sport, and made his UFC debut in April 2016.

Di Chirico entered the UFC with an unblemished 9-0-0 record but has struggled in recent times losing four out his last five bouts. He last fought in August 2021, losing to Abdul Razak Alhassan via head kick KO. The fight prior in January 2021 he won via head kick KO against Joaquin Buckley, so we might see some wild kicking action here.

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Roman Kopylov is a Russian fighter who also needs to find a victory. Kopylov is 0-2 since joining the UFC roster and has been hampered since his 2019 signing with ongoing visa issues and COVID. He last fought in October 2021, losing to Albert Duraev via decision.

Kopylov appears the more athletic of these fighters and might prove too quick and powerful for the somewhat plodding Italian. Neither man is renowned KO capability, so this should go the distance, and we expect the Russian to get the nod from the judges. Both fighters face the prospect of being cut from the UFC roster with a loss, so we can expect a lively and spirited contest.

Roman Kopylov by decision


John Makdessi $2.81 v Nasrat Haqparast $1.44

John Makdessi (18-7-0) is a Canadian kickboxer formerly fighting out Tristar, the gym that trained the legendary Georges St-Pierre to glory. Makdessi is now trained by Roufusport and is listed as the president of apparel brand Fear the Fighter, which has been embroiled in legal controversy over unpaid sponsorship purses to numerous pro athletes. Makdessi comes into this bout in good form having won four out his last five bouts. We last saw Makdessi in April 2021 when he scraped out a close split-decision win over Ignacio Bahamondes.

Makdessi has fought once per year since 2016, so the 37-year-old is in no imminent danger of burning out. He is a volume fighter who seeks to wear his opponent down with long striking combinations. He has not recorded a KO victory since April 2015 and is unlikely to suddenly develop that kind of power in this bout.

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Nasrat Haqparast (13-5-0) is also a product of the Tristar gym and is currently trained by head coach Firas Zahabi. This makes for an interesting dynamic and raises the prospect of bad blood. Haqparast last graced the octagon in February 2022 when he lost via decision to the highly credentialled Bobby Green. Haqparast had no answers for Green’s slick handwork and looked frustrated throughout. Prior to that, Haqparast lost to New Zealand’s Dan Hooker, also via decision.

Haqparast’s most recent KO was back in August 2019 when he dispatched Joaquim Silva and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus. He also brings a strong kickboxing style to the contest, and we are likely to witness a classic stand-up war of attrition. Despite the discrepancy in odds, we are keen on Makdessi to prevail. We will be backing him straight-up, but those searching for additional value might be wise to back him via decision, given his lack of KO history.

John Makdessi to win


Nathaniel Wood $2.12 v Charles Jourdain $1.73

Our last fighter to watch is Nathaniel Wood (18-5-0), who looks like good value in his fight against Charles Jourdain (13-5-1). Wood is an up-and-coming British fighter who looks well priced and might be ready to deliver on his promise. With medium confidence, we will be backing Wood to get the better of Jourdain.

Nathaniel Wood to win


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