Ciryl Gane vs. Alexander Volkov is the main event for UFC Fight Night betting on Saturday, June 26.
This should be a titanic clash between a pair of heavyweight contenders with extremely polished kickboxing ability. UFC betting lines currently have Gane installed as a -168 favorite, while Volkov comes back at +136.
Here are our best free Gane vs. Volkov picks and predictions for UFC Fight Night on June 26 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Gane vs Volkov fight odds
|Method of Victory||Cyril Gane||Alexander Volkov|
|Win by KO/TKO||+350||+300|
|Win by Points||+165||+460|
|Win by Submission||+1,000||+2,600|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of June 21, 2021.
Gane vs Volkov betting preview
Ciryl "Bon Gamin" Gane is the third-ranked heavyweight contender and is fresh off a unanimous decision win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik in February. The Frenchman is now a perfect 8-0 in his MMA career, including 5-0 in the UFC. The 31-year-old Gane is a physical specimen that looks and moves like an NFL edge rusher.
Not just a fantastic athlete, Gane is an excellent technical striker who excelled in kickboxing and Muay Thai before entering MMA. He has also quickly adapted to the grappling side of the sport, with three of his eight victories coming via submission.
Alexander Volkov is No. 5 in the heavyweight rankings and is fresh off a TKO win over Alistair Overeem in February. The former M-1 Global and Bellator heavyweight champion is 7-2 under the UFC banner since making his promotional debut in 2016.
Nicknamed "Drago" after the Russian villain in Rocky III, Volkov has high-level striking ability and lands 5.35 significant strikes per minute while absorbing just 2.68.
Gane vs Volkov tale of the tape
|Cyril Gane||Alexander Volkov|
|247 lbs||Weight||264 lbs|
|81 inches||Reach||80 inches|
|8-0-0 (3 KO)||Record||33-8-0 (22 KO)|
Gane vs Volkov UFC predictions and betting picks
PREDICTION: Moneyline Volkov (+136) - Gane looked tentative in his previous fight against Rozenstruik but still had a 102-42 edge in significant strikes and a pair of takedowns. However, don't expect him to dictate the pace of this bout because, unlike the cautious Rozenstruik, Volkov likes to pressure and isn't afraid to throw leather.
Volkov has had problems in the past against elite wrestlers like Curtis Blaydes and brutes with one-punch knockout power like Derrick Lewis — although Volkov was clearly winning that fight against Lewis until he was starched with just seconds left in the final round.
Gane has an underrated grappling game, but his bread and butter is Muay Thai, so don't expect him to spam takedowns like Blaydes (or like Cheick Kongo did against Volkov in his last loss before the UFC). And despite his intimidating physique, Gane doesn't have crazy power, preferring to overwhelm his opponents with volume.
Gane might not have as much success in the striking exchanges with Volkov, who is a long and highly accredited kickboxer in his own right.
Volkov is only one year older than Gane but is far more experienced when it comes to MMA, having fought 41 times in his career compared to eight career fights for Bon Gamin. With that edge in experience and power, Drago has the betting advantage as the small underdog.
PREDICTION: Volkov by KO/TKO (+300) - Gane has never been finished in his career but the only true knockout threat he has faced was Rozenstruik, and he rarely let his hands go. Volkov will be far more active and another factor to consider is the Russian's recent weight gain.
For most of his career, Volkov has checked in at around 247 pounds for the weigh-in. However, in his last two bouts, he weighed in at the heavyweight limit of 264, which likely means he's entering the octagon slightly bigger than that.
It's no surprise that he displayed more power in those recent bouts, knocking out both Overeem and Walt Harris during the second round. With four of Volkov's last five wins coming by way of KO/TKO consider that prop bet this weekend.
PREDICTION: Fight to go the Distance No (-110) - Typically, when you get two heavyweights with striking styles, you expect a knockout within the first few rounds. But these aren't your typical big boys, so oddsmakers think that it is just as likely we'll see this fight go the full five rounds than we'll get a finish.
We're not so sure. While Both Gane and Volkov are patient and rarely load up on their shots, they are certainly capable of overwhelming each other with volume. Six of Gane's eight career wins have come by way of stoppage, while 10 of Volkov's previous 14 victories were within the distance.
With both fighters having plenty of reach, it will be tough to distance manage and fight behind a jab and long-range kicks — especially in the smaller APEX octagon. We're expecting both heavyweights to land plenty of strikes and somebody will eventually succumb before the 25 minutes are up.
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