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Ciryl Gane of France poses for a portrait backstage during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
Athletes

8 UFC Fighters Who've Called France Home

Take A Look At Every Current UFC Fighter With Ties To France

UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Tuivasa marks the first time the UFC will host an event in France. The man headlining this historic event, Ciryl Gane, is just one of the many talented fighters to come from the European nation, and there’s no doubt there will be many more to come.

Before the fighters make their way to the Octagon in Paris, let’s check out all the current UFC fighters that represent this European country.

Ciryl Gane

“Bon Gamin” was born in La Roche-sur-Yon, France, and began his professional career in 2018. Prior to joining the UFC, Gane fought for the promotion TKO, where he became the heavyweight champion in his first fight. He defended that title twice before making his UFC debut on August 10, 2019, against Raphael Pessoa.

Ciryl Gane of France punches Derrick Lewis in their interim heavyweight title bout during the UFC 265 event at Toyota Center on August 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Ciryl Gane of France punches Derrick Lewis in their interim heavyweight title bout during the UFC 265 event at Toyota Center on August 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


Three years into his MMA career, Gane defeated Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 to win the interim UFC heavyweight title. Gane had the chance to become to undisputed champion against Francis Ngannou earlier this year at UFC 270, but couldn’t get the job done, losing by unanimous decision. It was Gane’s first professional loss. He is currently the No. 1 ranked heavyweight contender.

Francis Ngannou

Originally born in Batié, Cameroon, Francis Ngannou decided to head to Paris at the age of 26 to start pursuing professional boxing. He lived on the streets of Paris before meeting Fernand Lopez of the MMA Factory, who convinced him to try MMA. He provided him with MMA gear and allowed him to train and stay at the gym which helped start his career. He started his MMA career in 2013, fighting mostly in the French promotion 100% Fight.

Francis Ngannou | Fighter Timeline
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Francis Ngannou | Fighter Timeline
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Ngannou began his UFC career in December 2015, defeating Luis Henrique in his first fight. The rest is history. Ngannou continued to make his way to the top, most recently defending his belt against Gane at UFC 270. Ngannou first became champion in March 2021 with a knockout victory over Stipe Miocic. With the victory, he became the first Cameroonian-born UFC champion. It’s no secret why Ngannou is known as one of the scariest fighters on the planet as 12 of Ngannou’s seventeen wins have come by knockout. 

Manon Fiorot

Manon Fiorot has made a name for herself amongst French fighters, as she now sits as the No. 7 ranked flyweight in the world. Fiorot faced Victoria Leonardo in her debut and went against Tabatha Ricci last June. She knocked out both opponents in the second round. She also has secured unanimous decision victories over Mayra Bueno Silva and Jennifer Maia.

Manon Fiorot of France kicks Mayra Bueno Silva of Brazil in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 16 2021 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Manon Fiorot of France kicks Mayra Bueno Silva of Brazil in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 16 2021 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Born in Nice, France, Fiorot had her professional debut on June 16, 2018, where she lost to Leah McCourt. Since then, she has gone 9-0 and won six fights by knockout. Fiorot was originally scheduled to face Katlyn Chookagian in Paris, but the bout has now been moved to UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.

Fares Ziam

Fares Ziam began his professional career in 2014, fighting in a variety of promotions based in France.

Fares Ziam of France punches Luigi Vendramini of Brazil in their lightweight fight during the UFC 263 event at Gila River Arena on June 12, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Fares Ziam of France punches Luigi Vendramini of Brazil in their lightweight fight during the UFC 263 event at Gila River Arena on June 12, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


The lightweight made his first walk to the Octagon on September 7, 2019, where he fell to Don Madge by unanimous decision. Ziam was able to rebound and pick up wins in his last two UFC fights against Jamie Mullarkey and Luigi Vendramini. The last time fans saw Ziam was earlier this year, when he was submitted by Terrance McKinney, which pushed his record to 12-4.

Nassourdine Imavov

Originally born in Dagestan, Russia, Nassourdine Imavov moved to Paris when he turned 19 years old and started training at the MMA Factory. The middleweight made his Octagon debut on October 3, 2020, where he defeated Jordan Williams by unanimous decision.

Nassourdine Imavov of Russia reacts after his victory over Ian Heinisch in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 24 2021 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Nassourdine Imavov of Russia reacts after his victory over Ian Heinisch in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 24 2021 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Imavov has had impressive victories in his last two fights, earning back-to-back stoppage wins over Ian Heinisch and Edmen Shabazyan. His record stands at 11-3 and he’ll look to continue to his win streak against Joaquin Buckley at UFC Fight Night.

Zarah Fairn

Zarah Fairn was born in Paris, France where she began her professional career in 2013.

Zarah Fairn punches Felicia Spencer in their women's featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Chartway Arena on February 29, 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Zarah Fairn punches Felicia Spencer in their women's featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Chartway Arena on February 29, 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


The last time UFC fans saw Fairn was in her second UFC appearance on February 29, 2020, where she lost to Felicia Spencer. Since then, she has had two bouts canceled. Making her Octagon debut in 2013, the 37-year-old holds a record of 6-4, with four wins by knockout.

Natan Levy

Dana White’s Contender Series grad Natan Levy made his UFC debut against Rafa Garcia last November where he lost via unanimous decision.

Natan Levy of Israel punches Mike Breeden in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Natan Levy of Israel punches Mike Breeden in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


The Paris native rebounded in April with a unanimous decision victory over Mike Breeden to extend his record to 7-1. He’s earned three of his seven victories by submission and has two first-round finishes.

Benoît Saint Denis

Lightweight Benoît Saint Denis was born in Nîmes, France, and made his professional debut in 2019.

Benoit Saint Denis of France punches Niklas Stolze of Germany in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Benoit Saint Denis of France punches Niklas Stolze of Germany in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Saint Denis first stepped into the Octagon against Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos at UFC 267 in October. He lost a three round unanimous decision but came back with an impressive submission victory against Niklas Stolze in June. Saint Denis holds a record of 9-1, 1 NC with eight wins by submission.

UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Tuivasa took place on September 3, 2022, live from the Accor Arena in Paris, France. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!