UFC: Ciryl Gane vs Alexander Volkov Prediction, Tips & Odds

Gane UFC

How Gane wins the fight

No. 3 ranked, Ciryl Gane is somewhat of an anomaly amongst the dishevelled group of 265 pounders currently comprising the UFC’s heavyweight division. Gane is a careful, considered fighter with a well-defined process who knows exactly what he wants to achieve in any given matchup.

While Gane has no doubt been very impressive until this point in his career, at 8-0, there’s a pretty limited sample size to judge him by and with that comes concerns relating to a lack of stylistic variance amongst his previous opponents. Relatedly, the question of how Gane will deal with an opponent who's size and reach exceeds his own is particularly pertinent. Gane is also faced with a man in Volkov who at some point in the fight will likely attempt to impose a level of volume on him that none of his previous opponents were either inclined or capable of doing.

And while he has shown an ability to counterpunch, he’s yet to demonstrate it on a consistent or a potent enough basis on opponents both willing and able to subject him to considered volume punching. Additionally, Gane himself isn’t much of a combination puncher and limits himself almost solely to singular strikes which could make dealing with a potential high-paced onslaught difficult for him here.

However, Gane is an excellent kicker with very good shot selection by heavyweight standards and he’ll no doubt dominate the mid-long range exchanges here, particularly in the early stages. Whether or not he wins will largely be dependant on how he deals with a likely increase in pace and volume from Volkov late in the fight.

how Volkov wins the fight

Similar to Gane, Alexander Volkov (ranked at no. 5) is unique in his composition relative to the rest of the heavyweight division in that he has very respectful cardio while also being a high output, high volume fighter combination puncher - at least when he chooses to be, anyway. This is a style that can be tough to deal with at any weight class but particularly so in a division whose other members will leave you woefully unprepared for it when you first come to face it.

While a competent wrestler, Gane doesn’t really fit the profile of fighter that has typically troubled Volkov in the past; persistent chain wrestlers and one-shot knockout artists. Volkov’s size means he can very likely compete in the clinch with Gane and that will be an area he’ll be looking to find success in. Indeed, Volkov is extremely porous defensively, and that can certainly be exploited by Gane, but the Frenchman is yet to display either a level of counterpunching or a degree of concussive knockout power that can be safely relied upon to prevent the Russian subjecting him to a swarm of volume at some point in the fight. This is a particularly tough fight to call, largely because Gane is fresh, meaning crucial aspects of his game are untested.

But while Gane is, in our opinion, the most promising prospect in the UFC’s heavyweight division, this feels like it could be a problematic stylistic matchup for someone with only eight professional fights. Gane will likely win the early rounds, but unless he gets Volkov out of there it’s tough not to see the Russian throwing caution to the wind and ramping up the volume as the fight progresses, and having never seen Gane deal with such an issue it’s tough to expect that of him.

The initiative is key in MMA and while we could see either man winning we’re going to back the underdog Volkov at 5/4 here. Picking between a late stoppage at 10/3 or a decision at 4/1 is splitting hairs considering how little we know of Gane’s durability, but given the ambiguity of the stylistic matchup backing the fight to go the distance at 10/11 seems a selection of equal value.

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