UFC Paris card starting to come together with Moicano vs. Saint Denis

The UFC is set to return to Paris for a third consecutive September event and the crowd at Accor Arena and those watching abroad will get to enjoy a thrilling matchup atop the card.

A lightweight scrap between Benoit Saint Denis and Renato Moicano is expected to headline the Sept. 28 card in France. MMAJunkie’s Nolan King and Farah Hannoun reported the matchup has been signed as a five-round bout following an initial report from Brazilian outlet Ag. Fight that the pair were being targeted for the event.

Saint Denis (13-2) is from France and will be looking to bounce back from his knockout loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 299 in March that snapped a five-fight winning streak during which the 28-year-old finished all his opponents. 

Moicano (19-5-1) has won three in a row, including a technical knockout of Jalin Turner at April’s UFC 300 and has had his hand raised in five of his past six overall. The popular Brazilian’s only loss since 2020 was a five-round unanimous decision to former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 272 in what was a catchweight bout that Moicano took on only four days’ notice.

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A 185-pound matchup between top-10 middleweights Brendan Allen and Nassourdine Imavov had been in the works for the event before Allen posted a video to his social media on Monday saying that he no longer wanted to take the fight unless it was going to be a main event. 

“Two weeks ago or whatever they said, ‘Imavov in Paris?’ I said yes,” Allen explained. “I said I want to be main event because I’ve main evented three in a row, won all three. I’m going into enemy territory, so if we’re going to do it for all the risk, all the gain, let’s go. Main event. Next thing you know, we see (Saint Denis) and Moicano are main event. I ain’t (expletive) going all the way to Paris for these two dudes to go over me. One dude’s coming off a loss, the other one barely wins, bro.”

Allen then issued a challenge to Imavov, who’s from France, saying if he wanted to fight him that he can travel to the United States and “get it done.”

The 28-year-old added that he doesn’t think he nor Imavov should be fighting below fighters like Saint Denis or Moicano who aren’t ranked as high in their weight class as Allen and Imavov are in the middleweight ranks.

Imavov moved up to No. 7 at middleweight following his controversial TKO win over Jared Cannonier one month ago. Allen sits at No. 4 and has won seven fights in a row, including his split decision over Chris Curtis in April. Moicano is ranked No. 10 at 155 pounds and Saint Denis is No. 12.

The UFC has yet to officially announce any matchups for the Sept. 28 card.

French heavyweight Ciryl Gane headlined the first two UFC events in Paris, knocking out Tai Tuivasa in 2022 and finishing Serghei Spivac with strikes in 2023.

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