UFC Fight Night: Ciryl Gane vs. Alexander Volkov Betting Guide

Just one fight card remains between now and UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3, and that’s this weekend’s UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov on ESPN+. Before the headliners get underway, another set of heavyweights Tanner Boser and Ovince St. Preux will serve as the co-main event evening.

As the UFC has been mixing in as of late, this card will kick off mid-day, with the main card going off at 4:00 PM EST.

Let’s take a closer look at the main event itself and see where we can find the edge.

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Betting Profile: Ciryl Gane (8-0-0)

Last Five Fights

W
W
W
W
W

Ciryl Gane will look to continue his steady climb up the heavyweight rankings  (#3) on Saturday at the UFC Apex when he takes on Alexander “Drago” Volkov (#5). Since joining the UFC in 2019, Gane has won five straight, as his profile has grown after each fight.

Somewhat uncharacteristically for a heavyweight, Gane has finished 38% of his professional fights via submission and oft relies on his round despite having no officially sanctioned belts of any discipline. He also comes into this fight with a takedown defense of 100%, having never been taken to the ground in a professional fight.

It is worth noting Gane is also a Muay Thai professional with a professional record of 7-0. While he’s yet to show his kick game in a UFC event, the option is there and, in my mind, a ticking time bomb for his upcoming opponent(s).

Betting Profile: Alexander Volkov (33-8-0)

Last Five Fights

W
W
L
W
L

A Black belt in Tsu Shin Gen, a Brown belt in Kyokushin Karate, and a Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Volkov comes with all the pedigrees that Gane lacks; on paper. The 32-year-old former Bellator champion stands at 6’7″ and typically chooses to stand and throw with his opponents, which when fighting anyone not named Derrick Lewis has tended to work in the past. Of his previous five wins, all but one ended in a TKO/KO.

With the tendency to strike, Volkov comes into this fight averaging 6.19 Strikes Landed per Min. (SLpM), with 59% of them being significant strikes.

Outright Bet

Despite being just a year apart in age, Volkov has 33 more fights than his opponent, including three fights in the last calendar year alone. As mentioned above, Volkov has a propensity to strike and has a major weakness when it comes to the ground games.

Just this week, he told MMA Junkie: “I’m more excited with it because I look at him, he’s a really good striker, and one time I feel like I (will) meet him anyway. I think it’s a good time for both of us. I want to fight with anybody who uses their striking skills, but not their wrestling or something. That’s why it’s a good fight for me. I hope he will not go to wrestling after some punches hit him, and we will continue this fight in the standup.”

To me, this is Volkov tipping his hand, and that his fight last summer against Curtis Blaydes, where he was taken to the ground like a rag doll throughout the fight, is still on his mind.

With a shot at the title all but just around the corner with a win here, I expect Gane to do the smart thing and take this one to the ground early and just lay and beat on Drago until the final bell (or victory first)

Pick: Ciryl Gane -154

Top Prop Bet

With the heavyweights, it’s always a risk betting on it to go the distance, but I do think that’s what we see here in one form or another. If the fight goes to the ground like Gane would be smart to make it do, I think we see a ground and pound that lasts well into the final rounds.

Both of these fighters have potential title shots a fight or two away with a win, and I don’t expect either to be overly aggressive with so much on the line.

Pick: How will the fight end? – Points (-105)

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TJ Perun is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from TJ, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.

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