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UFC Fight Night 209: Quick Picks and Predictions

MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom analyzes the UFC’s top fights. Today, we take a look at the main card of UFC Fight Night 209.

UFC Fight Night 209 will be held at the Accor Arena in Paris on Saturday. The main card airs on ESPN+ starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Results of last fight: 3-2

Overall selection for 2022 UFC main card: 86-51-1

Welcome to MMAJunkie’s Quick Picks and Predictions, where I’ll briefly cover the fight day breakdown for the UFC main card.

With that in mind, I hope these articles don’t appear sloppy or dismissive, as my goal is to provide quick selection and analysis in an easy-to-understand format. All odds listed are provided by Tipico Sportsbook.

If you want a more detailed analysis from me, feel free to check out my weekly show The Protect Ya’ Neck Podcast.

So, without further ado…

Charles Jourdain (-160) vs. Nathaniel Wood (+125)

I’m not sure if hell has officially frozen, but it’s great to see the current UFC matchmaker finally back at Joe Silva’s surefire way to open the main card with light or light combat.

Nathaniel Wood has been promoted from the bantamweight division while Charles Jourdain is trying to recover from a competitive loss with Shane Burgos.

I’m a big fan of Wood’s front kicks and punches, but I doubt Jourdain’s southpaw’s attack will cause trouble for the British fighter, who has a history of hitting from the left. Plus With Wood’s tendency to slow down in the final innings (where Jourdain reigns supreme), I couldn’t help but see the Canadian fighter’s classic third-round finish come to an end.

William Gomis (-230) and Arno Ellens (+175)

Just when you thought we were going back to the five main fight cards, the UFC decided to add random regional talent to the primetime part of their production.

In their defense, the attraction between this lightweight William Gomis and Jarno Errens should be interesting as long as it lasts. Both fighters are not afraid to kick or spin their feet while maintaining usable ground skills. Will reluctantly side with him to decide the win.

Nasrat Haqparast (-240) vs. John Makdessi (+180)

In a series of tough fights, Nasrat Haqparast met John Makdessi on the main card.

Haqparast has had a tough game and there are many explanations for that, but the 27-year-old is certainly in a must-win position this weekend. Haqparast faces another tough veteran test in Makdessi, a skilled forward with “crocodile pedigree” for his ability to linger in the UFC’s deepest division for so many years.

Even though I could see Makdessi jabs and counter-attacks causing problems for his young foes, I doubt the judges would give Haqparast a nod for his powerful shot from left-handed stance.

Alessio Di Chirico (-110 ) and Roman Kopiloff (-114)

Another tough fight was a middleweight meeting between Alessio Dichirico and Roman Kopilov .

Both appear to be well-rounded, despite ultimately struggling to find their footing in the organization. Kopilov’s southpaw strikes and size is enough to beat Dichrico, but the Russians tend to start too slowly for my liking.

I also doubt that Dichirico will be able to use his size and strength if he chooses, I’ll grudgingly grab him, so I’ll reluctantly choose him to Big Brother Kopylov to decide victory.

Robert Whittaker (-220) vs. Marvin Vettori (+170)

An interesting middleweight matchup between Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori in the Paris Co-Main Event.

As much as I admire fighters like Vettori, Whittaker is still someone I have a hard time fighting. Not only did the former champion go 6-0 against the UFC-level southpaw, but Whittaker also tends to do his best against fighters who press and try to knock out.

Plus Vettori is unkillable like Blagoy Ivanov, I’ll let Whittaker decide.

Ciryl Gane (-600) vs. Tai Tuivasa (+400)

The main attraction in Paris is the weight between Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa level duel.

As I stated in my in-depth analysis, you should always squint suspiciously at 2-1 points at heavyweight.

Gane may have better odds of winning this fight, but I believe Tuivasa’s kicks and counter-attacks can bring this fight closer than the current betting lines suggest.

Coupled with Gane’s tendency to use steals to reset himself, I’ll be running a small flyer on Tuivasa for a frustrating knockout in the second round.

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