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Who will leave UFC Fight Night with their head held high, Volkov or Gane? Read on to find out.
A massive fight is set for June as Alexander Volkov is taking on Ciryl Gane in the UFC. Nothing concrete has been released yet, but insiders say the fight could take place on June 26th at the UFC Fight Night event.
While placing a bet on a winner isn’t possible yet, it is important to look at both fighters, the form they are in, leading up to this potentially huge fight, and what it means for each of their immediate futures in the UFC.
Alexander Volkov has come off a victory against the Dutch Giant, Allistair Overeem at UFC Fight Night back in February. While it is clear that Overeem “Reem” is most definitely past his prime, he is still a formidable opponent with immense striking power.
However, Volkov was in control from the start, whether it was age, fatigue, or Volkov just being that much better, Overeem never looked like he was going to get anything out of the fight. It was Volkov all the way, from the ringing of the first round bell, until the ref stopped the fight in his favour.
As mentioned, it is easy to write Overeem off as being over the hill, but the performance that Volkov put in was clinical. He was calm, calculated and there was never a point in the fight where Overeem looked like he could get anything out of it.
This win has also established Volkov as a serious threat in the heavyweight division, and while the legends of the division are getting older and moving on, there is a place for a fighter like Volkov to make his own, and become the dominant fighter at heavyweight.
As opposed to the dominance shown by Volkov against Overeem, Gane’s last fight was the complete opposite. He took on Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC Apex on 27th February, in a fight that most people quickly forgot.
While Gane eventually won by unanimous decision, it was a complete snooze fest. Considering the stakes that were at hand for the winner of the fight, and both fighters being in peak physical condition, everyone was definitely expecting more.
Trading blows and combinations, neither fighter was really dominant at any point, however, Gane was landing more, and at some points looked like he might be able to overwhelm Jairzinho.
In the end, a win was the only thing that Gane needed and he was able to set up a fight with Volkov, a fight that can easily turn into a title opportunity for the winner.
The fight itself could be a very interesting one. If Volkov comes out swinging, and forces Gane to use his striking power, we could end up with a frantic heavyweight bout. Combining what Volkov did to Overeem and what we know Gane can do, that’s a recipe for success.
Gane is also looking to make it back-to-back wins and keep his unbeaten record intact, while Volkov is looking to keep the success of his fight against Overeem, and will be looking to show everyone that he is truly a fighter that can not only win the heavyweight title, but defend it as well.
Obviously, the same can be said about Gane. As the heavyweight division is getting more and more competitive as more fighters rise to the top and show what they can do in the ring, fans are waiting to see who will come out on top and be crowned the king of the castle.
This could seriously be a career defining fight for both men. Neither man has won a belt yet at the UFC, with their UFC career highlights being the fact that they have been the winners of Performance of the Night.
A win here will undoubtedly open the door to a title shot and a showdown with Francis Ngannou. Volkov might have a bit more riding on this though compared to Gane, as Volkov has definitely been at this for a while longer. He has 41 fights so far, with the highlights being gaining the Bellator and M-1 Heavyweight titles one time. It is about time that he takes the next step and gets his hands on the title in the UFC.
Compared to Gane who has only had 8 fights in his MMA career and is currently unbeaten and probably has more time to get to the level of champion compared to Volkov. While he would want to keep his unbeaten record intact, this won’t be his first and last shot at a title fight.
The end of June could be the time we see an explosive battle in the heavyweight division. One man looking to make his permanent mark on the division, compared to a fighter looking to keep his unbeaten record and put his name down as a fighter who can win the heavyweight title.
Hopefully, this will be the exciting battle we know it can be, and we may be treated to one of the best heavyweight battles of the year.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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