UFC Paris Odds, Pick & Prediction for Ciryl Gane vs. Sergey Spivak: Bet on Patient Frenchman in Main Event (Saturday, September 2)
JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC heavyweight Ciryl Gane of France
Ciryl Gane vs. Sergey Spivak Odds
On Saturday at UFC Paris, the UFC returns to Accor Arena in France for an important heavyweight main event between Frenchman and No. 2-ranked contender Ciryl Gane and No. 7 Sergey Spivak.
The heavyweight bout will cap an 11-fight card that starts on Saturday afternoon on the East Coast (12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+) and during the morning hours farther out west.
Gane enters his seventh consecutive UFC main event and five-round fight, but he lost both attempts at undisputed UFC gold in the past two years by getting out-grappled by Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou.
Three of those six bouts went all five rounds, and Gane showed ample cardio to strike for 25 minutes. However, he slowed when forced to grapple.
Spivak will attempt to make Gane grapple, but he will compete in just his second-ever main event on Saturday (and first outside of the small UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas). The Moldovan has never gone past the 15-minute mark in his professional career.
Below, I'll provide my analysis and projections and utilize those factors to bet on the UFC Paris main event between Ciryl Gane and Sergey Spivak.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||14:43||8:01|
|Weight||250 pounds||256 pounds|
|Reach||81 inches||78 inches|
|Date of birth||4/12/1990||1/24/1995|
|Sig Strikes Per Minute||5.08||3.79|
|SS Absorbed Per Minute||2.25||2.84|
|Take Down Average||0.61||5.05|
Spivak is the thicker man, continually packing on muscle and filling out at the heavyweight division throughout his career, and he may be the stronger fighter early.
However, Gane is the taller, longer and much quicker athlete. The Frenchman will look to find a home on the outside of the octagon, where he can pick apart Spivak with his range weapons.
Gane uses his length as well as any fighter in the division while fighting behind a crisp jab and penetrating teep kicks to establish his range.
He should have a clear advantage both in the distance striking and in the pocket, where he can look to sit down on counters against a much less technical and less dangerous striker than he has seen in recent bouts.
Gane has outclassed a run of power punchers (Jairzinho Rozenstruil, Derrick Lewis, Tai Tuivasa) and outpaced high-volume strikers (Alexnder Volkov), but he struggled against well-rounded champions (Jones, Ngannou) who could threaten him in multiple facets of MMA.
Gane hasn't faced a pure grappler like Spivak. Still, I expect Gane to find much more success with his wrestling defense against a one-dimensional fighter rather than an opponent who mixes the grappling in when Gane is too focused on his elite striking defense (62% career).
Spivak has likely become accustomed to the intimate 25-foot Apex cage, where he's fought in five of his past six bouts, as opposed to the regular-sized octagon he'll see on Saturday.
The normal UFC octagon gives Spivak less margin for error when he attempts to cut off the cage and close the distance to initiate grappling exchanges. He may have difficulty tracking down Gane and getting into clinch positions to initiate takedowns.
Since Spivak relies on upper-body takedowns and judo throws as opposed to the double-leg style wrestling Ngannou employed, he may not be able to grapple Gane – a muay Thai specialist with excellent clinch work – at all in this fight.
And even if Spivak does land takedowns early, Gane should be able to scramble back to his feet – at least initially quickly. Spivak doesn't typically end up in great control positions even after getting his opponents off-balance; he just hangs onto their wrists and keeps at it until wearing them down.
If Spivak can apply that early pressure and break Gane's spirit with his grappling, he may be able to get a submission or positional TKO; once Spivak does gain those control positions, he is a large man who is difficult to shake off of you.
However, Spivak tends to fold under adversity, too, and he may have below-average durability even for the heavyweight division.
Binary matchups typically end quickly, and the winner, in hindsight, will have often looked like a dominant favorite.
However, it's worth noting that Gane is the far likelier minute-winner over a 25-minute fight, not just against Spivak but against almost any heavyweight on the planet.
Gane vs. Spivak Pick
I projected Ciryl Gane as a 65.2% favorite (-187 implied odds) in this matchup, and I expect the bout to end inside the distance 87% of the time (-654 implied odds).
As a result, I see value both on Gane and the Under or ends-inside-the-distance prop as of this writing on Friday afternoon. Additionally, I project value on Gane by KO/TKO (projected +105, listed +120 at FanDuel).
If Spivak succeeds in grappling Gane in this fight, I would expect it to come early – likely in round 1 – when both men are dry. As a result, there's a possibility that Spivak wins the first round – but doesn't finish Gane – and that you get a better price on the favorite live after Round 1 than we're taking pre-fight.
As a result, look to live bet the Frenchman at a better number after the first or second round. To reiterate, Spivak has never been past the 15-minute mark, and if he continually tries – and fails – to land takedowns, he will eventually gas out.
I'm less interested in betting the Under than I am in betting Gane's moneyline, too; Ciryl has shown extreme patience in breaking down his opponents and never rushes a finish. There's a small possibility that we see an extremely boring, low-tempo kickboxing match in which Spivak stays safe but doesn't give himself a chance to win while Gane takes a wide decision.
I see the finishing upside for either fighter as relatively equal, but Gane should have the much higher likelihood of winning a decision.
Lastly, consider using Gane's knockout prop or a plus-money Under 1.5 in a round robin.
The Pick: Ciryl Gane (-170 at Caesars)