Another installment of UFC Fight Night returns to the Apex Center in Las Vegas on June 26th. The main event will feature Cyril Gane vs. Alexander Volkov. This match, as well as the other five matches on the main card, has the potential to be an all-out war that no fight fan should miss. We’ll examine the storylines that make each of these fights compelling. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Cyril Gane vs. Alexander Volkov
The headline fight on June 26th features two heavyweights who are capable of ending the fight with a knockout or a submission. For his part, Volkov comes into the match with a 67% knockout rate. That means that two out of every three times he steps into the octagon, his opponent is unable to go the distance. The last time fight fans saw Volkov perform, he was the headliner at a fight night back in February. He defeated Alistair Overeem with a 2nd round TKO that night. He will be hoping for a similar result against Cyril Gane.
Cyril Gane is undefeated as a professional. He’s only been competing against other pros since 2018, but his record is still impressive. His unanimous decision over Jairzinho Rozenstruik in February proved he could beat a fighter who’d already established a reputation for himself in the organization. If he is able to defeat Volkov in his next fight, he will become one of the elite contenders in the heavyweight division.
Tanner Boser vs. Ovince Saint Preux
Both of these fighters suffered a loss the last time they stepped into the octagon. This should mean that they will each be hungry to get back in the win column and improve their standing in the organization. Any time two heavyweights are desperate for a win, the resulting battle will more than likely feature fireworks. It will be a huge surprise if this bout goes the distance; a stoppage is much more likely.
Boser deserves credit for getting back in the octagon so quickly after losing a June 5th bout to Ilir Latifi via unanimous decision. It will be interesting to see if the quick turn around means he enters the fight with the sharpest of skills. Saint Preux hasn’t been seen in the ring since his loss to Jamahal Hill in December of last year. He is 38 years has only has one title shot despite debuting for the organization way back in 2013. If he doesn’t get back in the win column this weekend, he may want to start considering ways to put his degree in Sociology to use.
Raoni Barcelos vs. Timur Valiev
The last time Raoni Barecelos lost a fight, Peyton Manning was the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Although he hasn’t been seen inside the octagon since November of last year, the last vision of him was impressive. He was awarded “Fight of the Night” for his victory over Khalid Taha. He’s banking on that momentum to help him continue his win streak this weekend.
Timur Valiev has been a professional fighter since 2010 but has never been a champion in any organization. His match against Barcelos will be his third since joining UFC’s roster. If he wants a shot at becoming one of the elite’s in the division, he will have to be impressive and emerge victorious against a battle tested veteran.
Andre Fili vs. Daniel Pineda
Neither one of these men has been seen inside the octagon this year. Each of them is coming off of a loss. Each man desperately needs to get back in the win column in order to get their career back on track. This match should be very competitive.
This will only be Pineda’s third fight in the organization, while Fili has been with UFC since 2013. Pineda is the more classically trained of the two fighters; he is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It will be interesting to see how their two styles clash once these two finally come face to face.
Tim Means vs. Nicolas Dalby
Nicolas Dalby’s story is an inspiring tale of redemption. After losing consecutive matches in 2016, he was kicked off of UFC’s roster. Showing resolve and refusing to give up, he joined the organization known as Cage Warriors and proceeded to win four of his next five fights, earning his way back into the most well-known mixed martial arts organization in the world. Now, two years after being welcomed back to the roster, Dalby finds himself on the main card of a Fight Night with a chance to impress the world.
Tim Means is 37 years old and is still looking for his first UFC title shot. If he is unable to emerge victorious this weekend, that dream will appear further away than ever.
Both of these men won unanimous decisions at UFC 255 back in November. Neither wants his win streak to end at the Apex Center in Las Vegas. Expect a war when they climb into the octagon together.
Renato Moicano vs. Jai Herbert
Jai Herbert lost his UFC debut in July of 2020. It was only the second loss of his professional career. He hasn’t been seen inside the octagon since. Unless he wants a quick return back to Cage Warriors, he will have to figure out a way to beat Renato Moicano on the 26th.
Renato Moicano has a black belt in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. Although he is respected for being classically trained, he’s lost four of his last five bouts inside the octagon. If he going to once again be considered a contender for the lightweight crown, he must come out on top against the less-experienced Herbert. A second consecutive loss would be cause for concern for a fighter who already looks past his prime at the relatively young age of 32. Everyone respects Moicano’s pedigree; it may be time for him to consider coaching.
UFC Fight Night: Ganes vs. Volkov can be viewed on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in the United States. As always, stay tuned to World In Sport for all of the latest UFC updates!