UFC Fight Night 190: Gane vs Volkov Predictions & Results
It is rare to see a Heavyweight main event and feel excitement, but UFC Fight Night 190 Main Event Gane vs Volkov is an interesting match-up. Volkov represents a serious test on the feet for the unusually athletic, technical French Heavyweight. Reach, pace, durability and an insane gas tank will surely drag Gane into deeper waters than experienced before.
UFC Fight Night 190: Main Event
Ciryl Gane (8-0) vs Alexander Volkov (33-8)
After sitting on the sidelines for a longer period than expected, Ciryl Gane is once again full-throttle on the hype train. Putting behind a wasted 2020 of COVID and cancelled fights, Gane laid an impressive (if expected) five-round clinic against Jairzinho Rozenstruik. While the patient kickboxer failed to turn up on the night, the Frenchman never allowed his opponent an avenue into the fight.
While there are several questions still to ask of Gane’s skillset, the speed at which Gane has cut through the thin Heavyweight offerings has been nothing less than remarkable. Showcasing a diverse kicking arsenal, Gane sets up his powerful head kicks by going to the body early. Similar to Cerrone, Gane pokes away at the opposing boiler room in order to contort an opponent’s guard and create an open channel for the head kick. Integral to Gane’s kicking is his expert distance management. Utilising his 81″ reach behind a strong jab and a series of calculated feints, Gane commands the centre of the octagon with limited exertion.
Questions remain over Gane’s gas tank in the championship rounds and his inability to finish fights. In regards to the latter, Gane often suffocates his own work after out-classing opponents early. Piercing with the jab, Gane’s best work stems from short combinations rather than pouring volume in search for the finish. The former, however, is more of a red flag. A heavy kicking game for any 265lber is a tall task, but when considering Gane welcomes taking the fight to the mat, just how well does his wrestling hold up when facing an opponent difficult hold down? Volkov’s TDD still has holes, but the Russian’s 6’7″ frame was able to cause Curtis Blaydes problems near the end of their fight.
During the first half of the Curtis Blaydes fight, Alexander Volkov looked dead and buried after being utterly overwhelmed on the mat. With a ludicrous 6’7″ frame and freakishly deep gas tank, Volkov bit down on his gumshield and fought his way off his back during the championship rounds. Showcasing his durability, relentless output and consistency, Volkov once again highlighted his skill set that can cause any Heavyweight issues.
With a revitalised approach to striking, Volkov now stalks opponents down with volume rather than sniping on the outside. Riding a rise in finishes over recent fights. Volkov appears to now comfortably operate at the weight limit and is willing to sit down on his punches. Contributing to Volkov’s confidence in the pocket is his underrated clinch game. With such a freak size advantage, opponents often underestimate Volkov’s dirty boxing and heavy frame waning upon them. While Volkov can also be caught alarmingly regularly on the feet, owing to his overreliance on leaning back as the major defence, the Russian’s granite chin is almost impossible to compromise.
While Volkov isn’t a power puncher that will stop Gane dead on the feet, he is a drop of water that will continually test Gane’s skillset and answer whether the Frenchman is truly elite. The energy needed to keep Volkov on the mat may prove far too expensive in the early rounds and allow the Russian to pull ahead with volume during the championship rounds.
Predicted Result: Gane Decision
At first, this fight did little to appeal. Nearing Saturday night, however, and this seems to be an excellent piece of match-making. Volkov’s freak durability, deep gas tank and consistency ensure that Gane will be questioned like never before. Gane’s diverse kicking arsenal, expert distance management and underrated wrestling will more than likely be enough for the Frenchman to win the early rounds. As proven many times, however, Volkov is an almost unstoppable force that will continue to plug away in the championship rounds. If Gane fails to properly pace himself early in the affair, especially in regards to holding down the Russian’s slippery 6’7″ frame, then we could witness a huge swing in momentum near the close.
With a revitalised approach to striking, Volkov now stalks opponents down with volume rather than sniping on the outside. Riding a rise in finishes over recent fights. Volkov appears to now comfortably operate at the weight limit and is willing to sit down on his punches. Gane’s snapping jab will once again need to triumph if the prospect wants to command the centre of the octagon.
Result: Gane def. Volkov // Decision (unanimous – 49-46, 50-45, 50-45)
UFC Fight Night 190: Co-Main Event
Ovince St. Preux (25-15) vs Tanner Boser (19-8-1)
Ovince St. Preux
While OSP may now be a corpse, the size and power of the former Collegiate footballer can never be denied. As the most inconsistent fighter on the roster, OSP has also seen one of the sharpest athletic declines. A woeful gas tank that leads to long periods of inactivity is papered over by his sloppy power striking and solid grappling chops. No longer needing to kill himself to make LHW, there is also the potential that OSP doesn’t gas after the first overhand.
Even after such a dramatic decline, OSP still has a strong chance of turning this into an ugly clinch fest where his raw size overwhelms Boser. A powerful takedown artist, OSP can bully Boser to the mat from where he only needs to offer minimal resistance to keep Boser tied to the mat. After Latifi renewed his career against Boser, can OSP achieve the same?
The extremely durable Candian seems to have hit a mental wall following a surprise run of form. Perhaps induced after hitting an athletic ceiling, Boser’s lack of confidence has been visible against Arlovski and Latifi. It is a terrible shame then that Boser’s entire game is based upon actively dictating exchanges and drowning opponents in volume. While OSP is almost a corpse at this point, the man still carries freak power that may once again cause Boser brain worms.
It is a shame because although Boser will likely never be an elite Heavyweight, he is a rare technical volume striker. Cutting cute angles, engaging with short combinations and carrying surprising sting, the Canadian mullet man is an easy sell. Worse yet, Boser has struggled against strong wrestlers. Ilir Latifi and Ciryl Gane were both able to find considerable success on the mat, racking up long periods of control times.
Predicted Result: Boser Decision
Against the huge odds of OSP simply overwhelming Boser in the wrestling department and exposing the Canadian’s awful work off the back, it is still too difficult to back a fighter that has fallen off quite so hard as OSP. Boser may be fighting with shattered confidence, failing to utilise his sharp volume-striking and cutting the same cute angles, but his chin should hold up to the OSP test. OSP may be able to paper over his woeful gas tank by moving up to Heavyweight, but long periods of inactivity will surely rear their ugly head once again. A real pick’em between two fighters down on their luck.
Result: Boser def. OSP // KO (punches) Round 2 2:31
UFC Fight Night 190: Main Card
Andre Fili (21-8) vs Daniel Pineda (27-14)
Fili is a proven UFC entity that can drag fighters into uncomfortable areas and waters. A well-rounded fighter on the roster, Fili loves a war, even if he too often calls upon his durability. A granite chin and knack to remain fresh by the final rounds will be necessary against the thundering power of Pineda. Over the past couple of years, Fili has made a determined effort to employ a greater volume of straight shots rather than the looping hooks of old. Although he often gets tagged during the 50/50 exchanges, Fili’s durability means trading shots plays into his attritional warfare.
Balls to the wall aggression, nuclear power, and a risk-taker on the mat, Pineda is an entertaining fighter that is an easy sell. After destroying Herbert Burns on the mat from a brutal crucifix, Pineda’s rise was sharply stopped by a clubbing Cub Swanson power shot. There is nothing wrong with living by the ‘kill or be killed’ style, but it is more difficult to employ at 145.
Predicted Result: Fili Decision
Fili is a proven UFC entity that can drag fighters into uncomfortable areas and waters. Well-rounded to perhaps a fault, Fili doesn’t truly excel in any area except attritional warfare. A granite chin and knack to remain fresh by the final rounds will be necessary against the thundering power of Pineda. Pineda’s nuclear power and risk-taking attitude always remain a threat, but the kill or be killed style will struggle against Fili’s notorious durability.
FIGHT CANCELLED (accidental eyepoke)
Raoni Barcelos (16-1) vs Timur Valiev (17-2)
Barcelos should be far more well marketed at this point, but after a series of lateral career moves, the thirty-four-year-old remains unknown to the wider public. Pressure and aggression on the feet may cause Valiev real difficulties, especially after the Russian has reigned in his offensive output following the freak Trevin Giles knockout. Win or lose, Barcelos is an incredibly entertaining striker who flys out the blocks and launches into high-risk high reward shots. As Barcelos’ best work is found on the mat, with near elite BJJ and decent TDD, Valiev may struggle to survive if he can’t find the respite of the mat.
After his embarrassing debut loss to Trevin Giles, the once highly touted prospect returned with a somewhat meek decision victory over Martin Day. Perhaps settling the jitters of achieving his first UFC victory, Valiev will hopefully return to the style that made fans hot. Pushing an insane pace with grinding wrestling, Valiev’s intensity is a challenge for anyone at Bantamweight. Noticeably less willing to engage with Martin Day on the feet, there remain questions over Valiev’s striking mental.
Predicted Result: Barcelos Decision
Barcelos should be far more well marketed at this point, but after a series of lateral career moves, the thirty-four-year-old remains unknown to the wider public. Pressure and aggression on the feet may cause Valiev real difficulties, especially after the Russian has reigned in his offensive output following the freak Trevin Giles knockout. Moreover, as Barcelos’ best work is found on the mat, with near-elite BJJ and decent TDD, Valiev may struggle to survive if he can’t find the respite of the mat. Still, the once highly regarded prospect can push an insane pace with grinding wrestling and an intensity that is hard to match.
Result: Valiev def. Barcelos // Decision (majority – 28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Nicolas Dalby (19-3-1) vs Tim Means (31-12-1)
Less technical than Means, Dalby will have to rely upon pushing a hotter pace. Setting an intense pace early, Dalby has received mixed results by forcing opponents to keep up with him. While Dolby is solid on the mat, the Dane has struggled to get his wrestling firing in the UFC as his opponents are less easy to coax into phone booth brawls on the feet.
The veteran’s transformation from a granite-chinned brawler, into a technical outside fighter riding on his reach, has been awe-inspiring. With surprising length on his defensive movements, Means frequently creates opportunities to counter upon which he never fails to capitalise. While the explosive clinch work is slowly falling from Means’ game, too risky considering his weathered chin, Dirty Bird’s elbows remain a huge threat.
Predicted Result: Means Decision
Mean’s transformation from a granite-chinned brawler, into a technical outside fighter riding on his reach has been awe-inspiring. With surprising length on his defensive movements, Means frequently creates opportunities to counter upon which he never fails to capitalise. While Dalby is less technically polished than Means, the Dane sets an intense pace early and combines volume striking with frequent clinch work and takedowns. Unfortunately for Dalby, he has struggled to get his wrestling firing and often falls apart during extended striking exchanges.
Result: Means def. Dalby // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Renato Moicano (14-4-1) vs Jai Herbert (10-2)
After a huge career decline, it is still too early to call whether Moicano is mentally finished. Thank Jose Aldo for effectively killing Moicano’s career. Undoubtedly, the Brazilian will be hurting after comprehensively losing three of his last four, but there were still pockets of success across them. On the feet, Moicano is a reactive striker that identifies holes in his opponent’s game and exploits it to devastating effect (e.g. leg kicks against Calvin Kattar’s boxing heavy stance). On the ground, Moicano rolls around the mat with speed and harasses the slower transitions of his counterparts.
Former Cage Warriors Lightweight champion, Jai Herbert, is several levels below the quality that Moicano has faced in recent years. Still, the Brit carries a remarkable 77″ reach and blistering speed that translates into surprising power. Putting an early clinic on Trinaldo, Herbert was eventually ground out over the ensuing rounds before eating several heavy shots in the third that switched off his lights more than once. A decent scrambler, there is a greater chance of Herbert’s back being latched upon than not.
Predicted Result: Moicano Submission Round 2
After a huge career decline, it is still too early to call whether Moicano is mentally finished. On the feet, Moicano is a reactive striker that identifies holes in his opponent’s game and exploits it to devastating effect. On the mat, however, is where Moicano will excel against Herbert. Latching on to any available back, Moicano’s grappling chops should prove far too advanced than anything Herbert has faced on the Cage Warriors scene. While the Brit has solid enough scrambles, it is still safer to back the proven submission record of Moicano. Moreover, while Herbert’s remarkable 77″ reach and blistering speed will undoubtedly cause Moicano early issues on the feet, there isn’t the pop that fighters like Fiziev have succeeded with.
Result: Moicano def. Herbert // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2 4:34
UFC Fight Night 190: Preliminary Card
Danilo Marquez (11-2) vs Kennedy Nzechukwu (8-1)
Light Heavyweight (205)
For real, how has this man won two UFC fights on the trot? Defying all the odds, Marques has benefited from favourable match-making and career performances to be flying high at LHW. While Marques’ wrestling is ugly as hell, the Brazilian is a grinder that will continue to force the fight to the mat even if there is nothing left in the tank. If unable to get Nzechukwu to the mat, though, and Marques’ almost none existent striking defence will be brutally exposed.
Just how does Nzechukwu deal with Marques’ wrestling? Marques is an ugly wrestler that lacks solid technicals, but Nzechukwu’s TDD falls apart as the rounds grind on. With an awkward habit of attempting to slip backwards on a straight line, Nzechukwu can be pushed against the cage with relative ease. In a fight where Nzechukwu desperately needs to assert dominance of the centre, his somewhat patient work on the outside is risky. Greater aggression on the feet and investing more confidence in his fight-ending power is needed to get Nzechukwu’s career running.
Predicted Result: Nzechukwu TKO Round 2
Really, Marques should be favoured for a submission in this bout but I have no faith in the Brazilian winning this favourable match-up. An ugly wrestler who commits steadfast to powering opponents to the mat, once there Marques is a surprisingly slick submission artist. Unfortunately, his gas tank is a joke and his lack of striking defence would require an entire article alone. Nzechukwu is a very flawed fighter too, but if he can survive an awkward first round, he will find it easier to stay standing. After which, even with Nzechukwu’s strange decision making on the feet, his power will hopefully bail us all out of a gutter-tier bout.
Result: Nzechukwu def. Marques // TKO (punches) Round 3 0:20
Michel Prazeres (26-3) vs Shavkat Rakhmonov (13-0)
Two-year PED suspension – Served. Manlet Status – Achieved. A potential career-ending fight – Booked. With a terribly boring grinding style, Prazeres’ long winning record has been laughably overlooked by the UFC brass. At a huge size disadvantage, several miles too many on the clock, and with almost no promotional boost, Prazeres is one of the sadder faces in the roster. Shame he is a drug cheat then, eh.
I plead for you to view the size difference at the weigh-in before reading further. Rakhmonov is a man who loves a finish, and while his striking isn’t visibly liquid, there is a clear application of calculated pressure behind the work. Moreover, Rakhmonov’s strong chin and excellent BJJ offers another outlet for the Kazakh to find an early night.
Predicted Result: Rakhmonov TKO Round 3
Coming off a two-year PED suspension, almost clocking in at forty years old, and with huge miles on the clock already, the ever-slept on Prazeres finds himself up against the wall for this one. While Prazeres operates behind his terribly boring grinding pressure, he will struggle to close Rakhmonov’s 10″ reach advantage. While the Kazakh doesn’t own the most liquid striking, there is clear calculation behind his work and can cause a fair bit of trouble even if he ends up on his back. Based on a PEDs layoff, age and the size difference, a stoppage is being favoured.
Result: Rakhmonov def. Prazeres // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2 2:10
Marcin Prachnio (14-5) vs Ike Villanueva (18-11)
Light Heavyweight (205)
No longer a glass cannon, Prachnio surprised almost everyone with the changes he made against Khalil Rountree. Deciding to operate on the outside, Prachnio showed surprising flair as he bounced in with short flurries alongside hard low kicks. Mental switch-offs were more often the cause for Prachnio’s consciousness leaving the room, but even against Rountree, he managed to allow his opponent a foothold in the affair again. Difficult to back a man who has been slept by Sam Alvey though.
Having shifted some excess weight, Villanueva can rely more regularly on his durability. While Villanueva is a surprisingly clean counter-striker, he lacks the athletic calibre necessary to make the most of opportunities that arise. Only a slither of power is needed to blast out Prachnio when he is caught sleeping, however, and this plays directly into Villanueva’s hands.
Predicted Result: Villanueva TKO Round 3
Despite ending a tough skid, Prachnio is still a difficult fighter to back. While the glass cannon showcased periods of excellent outside fighting, Prachnio’s tendency to switch off is far too dangerous. While Villanueva isn’t a knockout artist, he has a surprising eye for a counter-punch and is tough enough to endure punishment before finding the golden opportunity.
Result: Prachnio def. Villanueva // TKO (body kick) Round 2 0:56
Julia Avila (8-2) vs Julija Stoliarenko (9-4-1)
Women’s Bantamweight (135)
Even if Avila has failed to learn any lessons after dropping a dominant decision loss to Sijara Eubanks, the Raging Panda still needs to be heavily favoured. With a huge striking advantage, relentless pressure and decent submission defence, Avila has far more avenues for victory than Stoliarenko. There is a lot of work left to do in a surprisingly old fighter, but her weight class is rather forgiving at her current level.
An armbar merchant, Stoliarenko isn’t UFC quality but she is a clear test on the ground for up and comers. Tenacious until the end, Stoliarenko remains a threat whenever the fight finds itself on the mat. Sadly, when backed into the cage or stranded in the centre of the octagon, Stoliarenko is a sitting duck.
Predicted Result: Avilia Decision
Even if Avila has failed to learn any lessons after dropping a dominant decision loss to Sijara Eubanks, the Raging Panda still needs to be heavily favoured. With a huge striking advantage, relentless pressure and decent submission defence, Avila has far more avenues for victory than Stoliarenko. The armbar merchant remains a threat whenever the fight finds itself on the mat yet sadly is a sitting duck when backed into the cage or stranded in the centre.
Result: Avila def. Stoliarenko // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3 4:19
Charles Rosa (13-5) vs Justin Jaynes (16-7)
When two one-trick ponies meet each other, does the fight become a two-trick pony? Food for thought. Regardless, Rosa is a wonderful grappler – even when put under the cosh for fifteen minutes by Bryce Mitchell, Rosa was far too wily and gritty to be submitted. Rosa’s greatest failures stem from his inability to get the fight to the mat. While a sharp kicking game on the outside is welcome, Rosa’s lack of boxing drops rounds with too much ease.
Don’t blink when Jaynes is fighting. Win or lose, Jaynes has been an enjoyable package to watch since his debut KO over Frank Camacho. Three losses have put Jaynes’ UFC tenure under question, but his ballsy power-punching and frantic scrambles are too fun to watch. If Jaynes cannot stop the fight within the first, however, there is a clear drop in output.
Predicted Result: Rosa Decision
Based on survivability and output outside of the first round, Rosa has to be favoured to survive an early onslaught. Rosa’s safe kickboxing on the outside should be enough to ride out Jaynes’ early explosiveness before pulling ahead on the mat.
Result: Rosa def. Jaynes // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Yancy Medeiros (15-7) vs Damir Hadzovic (13-6)
On a three-fight slide, the exciting Hawaiian striker has hit hard times. His previously granite chin has been weathered due to his brawling style, and as a result, has changed his style to a dreary low output kickboxing mess. Medeiros still makes excellent use of angles to land his looping punches, but absent ring cutting means he often spends most of the fight just following his opponent is a tedious dance.
Damir Hadzovic is certainly down the lower end of the Lightweight roster. Heavy-handed and decently durable, Hadzovic bounces into the pocket with a high guard before throwing a hard overhand right. Hadzovic occasionally lands a takedown but there is little diversity to his game. On the mat, Hadzovic is a ship lost at sea when he finds himself on his back.
Predicted Result: Medeiros Decision
This can’t be anything other than a sloppy kickboxing match with neither man particularly opting for a wrestling game plan. Medeiros has certainly declined over the past few years, but he has also faced far higher quality opposition than Hadzovic. While Hadzovic’s heavy hands could force Medeiros to fight tentatively (as has been the case in the past three fights), the Hawaiian’s use of angles will instead frustrate the Bosnian all night long.
Result: Hadzovic def. Medeiros // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC Fight Night 190
2021 MMA Season
Takeaway comments: Run back Fili Pineda immediately, what a war!
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