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MMA handicapper Christian Broughton gives his best bets for this weekend’s card, UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov

UFC Fight Night Odds, Picks & Predictions: Gane vs. Volkov

Bet of the Card: (1.5u) Over 4.5 Rounds @ -112 (to Return 2.839 Units)

Ciryl Gane vs. Alexander Volkov

Main Event - Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 6:45 p.m. EST.

  • The betting total has gone over in all of Ciryl Gane’s last 4 fights (per BestFightOdds.com).
  • Alexander Volkov has only been finished once in his 9 UFC fights, and Ciryl Gane has never been defeated in his 8-fight MMA career.

Both Gane and Volkov are tall, rangy kickboxers who favor distance striking exchanges, where they can look to dictate the pace and proximity of their fights. Each guy yields decent grappling, and although that tends to play some factor in their fights, it’s often not a deciding one, or at least not against top-tier opponents (who aren’t named Curtis Blaydes).

These guys are so aligned in their styles, it’s really quite remarkable. Gane will have the flashier techniques, speed, and more elusive movements, but Volkov will have the experience advantage, combined with slightly more polished boxing fundamentals.

I expect this to be a 25-minute drawn-out striking battle. There may be some clinch work and grappling, should either look to engage, but I suspect these instances will be few and far between, especially given that Gane didn’t look to grapple much against Rozenstruik (a significantly less refined grappler than Volkov), and that a strong wrestler like Curtis Blaydes, seriously struggled to hold down Volkov for any great length of time.

All in all, I see this being a calculated and patient back-and-forth fight that largely takes place on the feet. It may be a little cagey in the opening minute or two, but these guys are seasoned strikers, and once they settle into a groove, I think they’ll produce an extremely close and technical fight. The finish is always possible with heavyweights, particularly with guys who are this calibre of striker, and who aren’t afraid to go for submissions, but even still, I see this going over 4.5 rounds at a decent clip more than the -112 line suggests (52.8% implied probability), so it’s a bet for me.

(0.75u) Ike Villanueva via KO/TKO @ +310 (to Return 3.075 Units)

(0.5u) Ike Villanueva to Win in Round 1 @ +750 (to Return 4.25 Units)

Marcin Prachnio vs. Ike Villanueva

Preliminary Card – Light Heavyweight (205lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 2:30 p.m. EST.

  • Marcin Prachnio has been knocked out 4 times in his MMA career, 3 of which have come in his last 4 fights (per Tapology.com).
  • 15 of Ike Villanueva’s 18 wins have come via KO/TKO, with 14 coming in the first round (per Sherdog.com).

Ike Villanueva is not particularly good, but man does he have a decent shot at beating Marcin Prachnio. He’s a short, stocky guy, and he’s not afraid to throw his hands, and that’s what makes him a dangerous opponent for Prachnio.

Prachnio is coming into this fight off an impressive performance against Khalil Rountree. He showed that he could still be the evasive kickboxer that we saw on the regional scene, and it enabled him to out-manoeuvre and out-land Rountree to a unanimous decision victory. Prior to that, however, Prachnio was on an 0-3 skid, having lost all of his UFC fights via first round KO/TKO. He had shown minor glimpses of his skills, but just about every time someone touched his chin, he went to sleep… not a great sign when you’re fighting a knockout artist like Villanueva.

I see Prachnio as the better all-round fighter, particularly in relation to when he’s able to utilize his reach and movement, but with a moneyline of -225/-200, you’d have to be out of your gourds to bet him here. Villanueva will march forward looking to close distance, throw hands, and produce an entertaining and volatile fight. His boxing is actually better than I’ve given him credit for in the past, and should he be able to get into the pocket with Prachnio a few times, I can easily see him clipping him, and scoring the knockout. So, at +310, I’ll be taking his KO/TKO prop, as well as his round 1 prop at +750, as that’s the round he’ll be the most dangerous.

(0.5u) Julia Avila via KO/TKO @ +340 (to Return 2.2 Units)

(0.25u) Julia Stoliarenko to Win Inside the Distance @ +725 (to Return 2.063 Units)

Julia Avila vs. Julija Stoliarenko

Preliminary Card – Women’s Bantamweight (135lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 2 p.m. EST.

  • 4 of Julia Avila’s 8 pro wins have come via KO/TKO, and her only 2 amateur wins also came via KO/TKO (per Tapology.com).
  • 9 of Julija Stoliarenko’s 10 wins have come inside the distance (per Tapology.com).

I like this fight to end inside the distance, but at around +125, there’s just not quite enough value there to talk me into betting it. However, I’ve managed to source a couple props that almost represents that same bet, but with far greater value.

The first bet is Julia Avila via KO/TKO at over 3-to-1. Her pace and pressure isn’t matched by many in the women’s bantamweight division, and it allows her to overwhelm her opponents on the feet, against the cage, and on the mat.

As we saw in Stoliarenko’s fight with Yana Kunitskaya, she’s not going to simply fold over when she faces adversity, but Kunitskaya adopted a conservative gameplan, and I think with more intensity, she could have put an even worse beating on her. And that’s exactly what I think Avila is going to do differently in this fight. Look for Avila to force Stoliarenko into all sorts of awkward spots. Stoliarenko may have the better jiu-jitsu skills, but Avila is bullish and will look to enforce her takedowns, and with enough resistance, it’s entirely possible she could break the will of Stoliarenko, enough so to get a ground and pound stoppage.

Despite my praise of Avila, Stoliarenko is still a live dog in this fight. She’s very one dimensional, as she will almost exclusively look to get the fight to the mat by any means necessary, but in doing so, it enables her to chase submissions, which is her strongest path to beating most of her opponents. Avila has only been finished once as a pro, and that was due to a hand injury (per Tapology.com), but I don’t see her as a fighter whose high-level enough to not just get arm barred against someone like Stoliarenko. For this reason, I’m also going to take a stab on Stoliarenko to win inside the distance at +725, this line is just a little too crazy considering her moneyline, and the fact that she’s largely a finish-or-bust style-fighter.

Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.

Event: UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov / UFC Fight Night 190 / UFC on ESPN+ 48 / UFC Vegas 30 / #UFCVegas30

Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Date: Saturday, June 26th, 2021

Start time: Main Card: 4 p.m. EST, Prelims 1 p.m. EST.

Where to watch: Main Card on ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN+

UFC Odds: Click here to view the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night: Ciryl Gane vs. Alexander Volkov

UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov Full Fight Card Predictions:

UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov Main Event Prediction:

Heavyweight (265lbs): Ciryl Gane vs. Alexander Volkov – Gane via Decision

UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov Main Card Predictions:

Heavyweight (265lbs): Tanner Boser vs. Ovince St. Preux – Boser via Decision

Bantamweight (135lbs): Raoni Barcelos vs. Timur Valiev – Barcelos via Decision

Featherweight (145lbs): Andre Fili vs. Daniel Pineda – Fili via KO/TKO

Welterweight (170lbs): Tim Means vs. Nicolas Dalby – Means via Decision

Lightweight (155lbs): Renato Moicano vs. Jai Herbert – Moicano via Submission

UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov Prelim Card Predictions:

Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Danilo Marques – Nzechukwu via Decision

Welterweight (170lbs): Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Michel Prazeres – Rakhmonov via Decision

Welterweight (170lbs): Warlley Alves vs. Jeremiah Wells – Alves via Submission

Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Marcin Prachnio vs. Ike Villanueva – Villanueva via KO/TKO

(W) Bantamweight (135lbs): Julia Avila vs. Julija Stoliarenko – Avila via KO/TKO

 Featherweight (145lbs): Charles Rosa vs. Justin Jaynes – Rosa via Submission

Lightweight (155lbs): Yancy Medeiros vs. Damir Hadžović – Hadzovic via Decision

*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.

Click here to check out the all the Best Odds for the Fights!

Article Author


A former sportsbook trader with a passion for mixed martial arts. If there is value to be found then Christian is the man to find it.


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