Ciryl Gane, France

Ciryl Gane

UFC planning France debut two years after MMA is legalized

A monumental debut is being planned for later this year. The UFC is planning to hold its very first event in Paris, France. This location has been like a mythical unicorn for MMA fans in the country for years. The sport of MMA was not legal in France for years but was recognized as a sport in Jan. of 2020. The plan was for a UFC event to head there when the legalization went through but the coronavirus pandemic delayed that plan. Now, two years later, the date may be set.

First reported by Ariel Helwani, the first event will see a heavyweight bout as its main event. France native Ciryl Gane is reportedly taking on Tai Tuivasa in a five-round headlining bout. The date is September 3, however, the location of this event is not yet announced but will be in Paris. UFC president Dana White foretold of this event happening earlier this year.

“I can tell you this: we will definitely do France this year. We will definitely do France. And I will definitely come back here again,” White said.

In the past few years Gane, along with Francis Ngannou have put French MMA fighters on the map. Some fighters are already looking to get on this historic card and surely many more will be doing so soon.

Ngannou is one big name who has mentioned wanting to fight in Paris before but he is currently out of competition recovering from injury. Also, this event will not be a Pay-Per-View event, and that all but rules out the heavyweight champion at this time.

This is the first UFC event to be held in France, but not the first major MMA promotion to go there. Bellator held their first event in Paris back in October of 2020 and is holding another one there this week. Both Bellator Paris events were held in the AccorHotels Arena which could be the same location for the UFC in September.

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