UFC Fight Night Odds, Pick & Prediction for Cyril Gane vs. Alexander Volkov: Bet on a Lengthy Main Event Matchup (Saturday, June 26)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): UFC opponents Ciryl Gane and Alexander Volkov.
- Cyril Gane vs. Alexander Volkov headlines UFC Fight Night on Saturday from Las Vegas.
- The winner of this fight could find himself a top contender in the UFC's heavyweight division.
- Sean Zerillo previews the fight and gives out his betting picks below.
Cyril Gane vs. Alexander Volkov Odds
A future heavyweight title challenger could emerge from Saturday’s Fight Night main event between undefeated No. 3 contender Ciryl Gane and the No. 5 ranked Alexander Volkov.
Francis Ngannou still doesn’t have an opponent booked for his first title defense, so perhaps one of these two streaking heavyweights could steal the spotlight and emerge as the next contender for the moniker of “Baddest Man on the Planet.”
Stylistically, this is an exciting matchup between two large, high-volume strikers that is taking place in the smaller, 25-foot octagon at UFC Apex.
Let’s take a look at how they match up below.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||13:18||14:23|
|Weight (pounds)||245 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|Date of birth||4/12/90||10/24/98|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.04||4.88|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||1.85||2.48|
|Take Down Avg||1.13||0.66|
Gane’s striking efficiency (+3.19 significant strike differential; 124 combined striking percentage) is otherworldly since his athleticism, cardio, footwork, and overall movement are nearly unmatched in the Heavyweight division.
The Frenchman is very technical and fights behind a sharp jab and an aggressive low kick game (75 leg kicks landed in his last two fights). He’s able to use his length and speed to get in and out of the pocket before getting countered, and he mixes up his striking to all areas of the body.
While Gane has a small reach advantage against Volkov, he will have to adjust to a 3-inch height discrepancy, which could throw off both the timing and impact of his jab. I do expect him to chop at Volkov’s long legs from the outset and to fire damaging elbows if Volkov gets in too close.
Volkov is the far more experienced MMA fighter, with as many losses as Gane has total fights. He’s also the rare heavyweight who can seemingly match Gane’s output and cardio for 25 minutes (+2.4 strike differential; 115 combined striking percentage).
But while Gane is potentially a defensive savant, Volkov is far less mobile, and “Bon Gamin” could have his way dancing in and out of the pocket, picking at all three levels of the body while Volkov lumbers to catch up to his speed.
Furthermore, Volkov has shown holes in his takedown defense (70%), and while he is good at getting back to his feet, Gane can open up additional holes in the striking game if he makes Volkov think about the possibility of a level change. If he’s chopping away at those legs early, the takedowns will come more easily.
The smaller cage does play to Volkov’s advantage. In a 30-foot Octagon, I would completely side with Gane, but in a 25-foot cage, he has less room to maneuver, and Volkov doesn’t need to angle as far to close the distance.
Volkov has always displayed exceptional durability, and he’s been more aggressive at pressing forward and attempting power shots in recent fights. Still, we don’t really know how Gane will react when he finally encounters adversity, particularly now that he’s facing fighters at the highest level of MMA who hold a substantial edge in terms of experience.
Heavyweight fights are often the most difficult bouts to handicap, but it’s hard to make Gane a significant favorite when Volkov possesses the higher finishing upside.
Gane vs. Volkov Pick
I projected Ciryl Gane as a 55% favorite in this matchup, and I think the opening odds were more accurate at around -138 (58% implied) than the current line around -170 (63% implied),
I projected the bout to go the distance 58% of the time, implied odds of -137, and I think there’s value on both the over 4.5 rounds (-115) and/or the fight goes the distance prop, to about -125.
Furthermore, both fighters offer value to win by decision (projected +181 for Gane and +350 for Volkov) relative to their market prices (+188 and +375, respectively), but I don’t quite enough value there to make a play.
I lean towards Gane as the side, particularly if I had to choose between the decision props, but the over offers more value.
The Pick: Over 4.5 Rounds (-112)