- Date & Location: Saturday, June 26, 2021, @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas
- Odds: Ciryl Gane (-177) vs. Alexander Volkov (+152) BetOnline
- Prediction: Volkov by decision
The UFC has one fight card until it heads into a one-week break over the July 4 holiday in the States. That card, UFC Vegas 30 is headlined by a heavyweight matchup between Ciryl Gane, who is the No. 3 ranked fighter in the official UFC heavyweight rankings and the No. 5 ranked Alexander Volkov.
The 31-year-old Gane is relatively new to the MMA game. Gane made his MMA debut in 2018 and has fought eight times. That number includes five UFC bouts. Gane is unbeaten in his career and coming off a unanimous decision win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
Volkov has much more MMA experience than his French opponent. The Russian fighter has been a pro since 2009 and has been with the UFC since 2016. Volkov is on a two-fight winning streak. Those wins, both second-round TKO victories, came against Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris.
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GANE vs. VOLKOV PREDICTION & PICK
The difference in experience and quality of competition is immense in this bout. While the fighters are close in age, Gane is 31 and Volkov is 32, the gap in experience is significant. Volkov has 33 more professional fights than his opponent. Volkov, the former Bellator and M-1 heavyweight champion, has also been fighting top competitors longer than Gane has been involved in MMA. I think those two things are going to factor large in this fight.
With that, I’m picking Volkov to get the win.
Pick: Volkov +140 via Bovada
BETTING VALUE WITH VOLKOV
Despite his lack of experience in MMA, Gane has shown great skills. He is a threat everywhere in the octagon, so it would not be a surprise to see him get his hand raised in this fight. However, I think Volkov is the better bet.
Gane fights very safe. He has shown a reluctance to get involved in a firefight. With that, he is a fighter who Volkov should be able to plan for. If Volkov can use his experience to put together a game plan that exploits the tendencies and weaknesses of Gane he should get the win. Volkov doesn’t have to take an incredible amount of chances to outpoint Gane. He just has to be more aggressive and land the more impactful strikes. I think his experience is invaluable in this matchup.
Another thing Gane carries into this fight is expectations. After his most recent win, UFC president Dana White was dismissive of Gane, saying, “This was his coming out party and his chance to show the world who he is. He won, but let’s leave it at that. He won.”
Prediction: Volkov +150 via decision via BetUs.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Gane has looked impressive during his UFC run. Fighters don’t fly up the rankings like he did without a decent bit of talent, but it’s just hard to overlook how much more time Volkov has spent in the cage.
FIGHT STATS: GANE vs. VOLKOV
|Ciryl Gane||Category||Alexander Volkov|
|5.04||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||4.88|
|1.85||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||2.48|
|1.13||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.66|
|0.5||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.2|
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
With Jon Jones lurking out there and Derrick Lewis expected to get the first shot at newly crowned heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, the winner of this fight will need at least one more big win before they’ll get a shot at UFC gold. It would not be a shock to see the victor if this bout booked opposite ex-champ Stipe Miocic in a potential title eliminator.
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