Future of the heavyweight division on display at UFC Vegas 30
Updated: Jun 28, 2021
Gane silences critics, outstrikes Volkov in decision win
Number three-ranked heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane heard the critics after his last fight and then turned in the best performance of his UFC career.
Gane posted the seventh most significant strikes in a UFC heavyweight fight en route to a unanimous decision victory over No. 5 Alexander Volkov Saturday, June 26 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Through the first two rounds, Gane (9-0) controlled the distance of the fight despite being outlanded by the taller Volkov in the first five minutes.
Volkov (33-9) began pushing the pace to start the third round but was quickly turned away by Gane’s precision punching.
In fact, a big uppercut draws blood from the nose of Volkov after being laced with jabs from Gane for the first 15-plus minutes of the fight.
The corner of Volkov could be heard in the final round telling their fighter to “let the right hand go.”
It never came.
Gane proceeded to put the finishing touches on a brilliant performance despite issuing out a second eye poke to his opponent.
With the win, Gane now has the longest active win streak in the heavyweight division, passing champion Francis Ngannou.
After the fight, Gane expressed his desire for a title shot citing he’s ready if the UFC is.
Boser knocks out UFC veteran amid potential controversy
Heavyweight challenger Tanner Boser added a UFC veteran to his belt after knocking out Ovince Saint Preux in the co-main event.
Boser appeared to grab the fence while in a guard position with OSP on top, looking to gain traction.
After getting back to his feet, Boser rocked OSP with a knee to the head and dished out a heavy right hook that sent his opponent to the canvas, eating another left hand on the way.
From the jump, Boser was the aggressor against Saint Preux, who made his second start at heavyweight.
OSP never seemed comfortable on the feet and only gained his footing while grappling.
It was the second fight at the Apex in three weeks for Boser who avenged a decision loss in his last bout against Ilir Latifi.
Fili’s fiery performance ends in no contest
A sharp performance for UFC featherweight Andre Fili was cut short following an inadvertent eye poke to Daniel Pineda.
Pineda tried to do everything in his power to keep fighting but at the advice of the doctor and referee Herb Dean, the fight was ruled a no contest 46 seconds into the second round.
For the first five-plus minutes of the fight, Fili could do no wrong.
The output was one thing for Fili but the connection rate on the backend was another thing entirely.
Not much could be said after the fight from Pineda besides, “He was fucking me up.”
Pineda expressed interest in a potential rematch with Fili.
Nzechukwu improves to 9-1 with knockout win in final round
After being caught off-guard and giving dominant back position to his opponent, Danilo Marques, the up-and-coming Kennedy Nzechukwu put the finishing touches on a performance of the night outing.
Nzechukwu was forced to carry the weight of his opponent for over four and a half minutes of the opening round.
While offering little resistance from the unlikely position, Nzechukwu (9-1) was very concise with his defense and hand-fighting allowing little to no chance for offense for Marques.
Now with the proper approach, Nzechukwu and Marques both dished out punches and kicks from the standing position.
However by the end of the round, Nzechukwu could see his punches weren’t being worn well by his opponent.
That coupled with the advice of choosing his spots and “teeing off” from his coaches was exactly what the 29-year-old needed to hear.
Thirty seconds into the final frame, Nzechukwu was being stopped from his mauling attack on Marques (11-3), who never fell during the barrage.
Prachnio delivers spectacular knockout after withstanding onslaught
Light heavyweight Marcin Prachnio and Ike Villanueva met in the middle of the octagon and left it all out there.
Prachnio had to withstand an early offensive onslaught from Villanueva, who dished out damage resulting in a badly busted up eye for his opponent.
Despite sitting in the face of a hailstorm, Prachnio (15-5) attempted to mount an offense before the end of the first round only to be met with a steady, consistent Villanueva.
Heavy leg kicks told the story as the round came to a close with Villanueva (18-12) hopping on one leg before ending the round with another push that likely secured his first round dominance.
Prachnio went to the body about 30 seconds into the second round, looking to soften up his adversary.
It worked to perfection as he loaded up and timed a body kick perfectly. So perfect, it folded Villanueva without the need for follow-up shots.