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.