UFC Fight Night Report: Ciryl Gane defeats Alexander Volkov by decision

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UFC Fight Night Report: Ciryl Gane defeats Alexander Volkov by decision.

By: Eric Marcotte 

The UFC held their final Fight Night event of the month on Saturday afternoon at the Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event featured a bout between two of the top-ranked fighters at heavyweight, Ciryl Gane, and Alexander Volkov. The undefeated Ciryl Gane came into this fight following a shutout unanimous decision victory over Jairzinho Rozenstruik, looking to make a case for a shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship. His opponent, Alexander Volkov, has never been shy about voicing his interest in a fight against Francis Ngannou either, and following a pair of stoppage victories against Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris, Volkov was as close to a title shot as he has ever been in the UFC. The co-main event also featured a heavyweight fight, as Ovince Saint Preux returned to the division to face Tanner Boser.

Brendan Fitzgerald provided commentary for this card alongside Paul Felder and Daniel Cormier. Performance of the Night bonuses went out to Marcin Prachnio and Kennedy Nzechukwu. Fight of the Night honors was awarded to Raoni Barcelos and Timur Valiev.


*Damir Hadzovic def. Yancy Medeiros by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

*Charles Rosa def. Justin Jaynes by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)

*Julia Avila def. Julija Stoliarenko by rear-naked choke at 4:19 of Round 3

*Marcin Prachnio def. Ike Villanueva by TKO at 0:56 of Round 2

*Jeremiah Wells def. Warlley Alves by KO at 0:30 of Round 2

*Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Michel Prazeres by rear-naked choke at 2:10 of Round 2

*Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Danilo Marques by TKO at 0:20 of Round 3

*Renato Moicano def. Jai Herbert by rear-naked choke at 4:34 of Round 2

*Tim Means def. Nicolas Dalby by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

*Andre Fili vs. Daniel Pineda resulted in a no-contest due to an eye poke at 0:46 of Round 2

*Timur Valiev def. Raoni Barcelos by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

*Tanner Boser def. Ovince Saint Preux by KO at 2:31 of Round 2

*Ciryl Gane def. Alexander Volkov by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)


Medeiros and Hadzovic exchanged leg kicks before Hadzovic landed a quick 1-2. Medeiros was fighting aggressively, but Hadzovic’s counters were strong, landing a clean lead knee. Hadzovic threw some strong combinations in the final minutes, securing this opening round. 10-9 Hadzovic.

Hadzovic began to let loose with his hands, rocking Medeiros badly against the cage. Medeiros looked as though he was moments away from being finished, but he began swinging back, forcing Hadzovic to relieve his pressure. Medeiros was cut near his left eye during Hadzovic’s onslaught. The remainder of the round was rather even, and I thought Medeiros did enough offensively to avoid a 10-8 round. 20-18 Hadzovic.

An early 1-2 from Hadzovic hurt Medeiros yet again, causing referee Chris Tognoni to warn Medeiros that he needed to defend himself. Much like the early portion of the second round, Medeiros looked as though he was in deep trouble here, but he actually managed to take Hadzovic down and took his back momentarily. Medeiros was chasing a finish on the ground, with an exhausted Hadzovic just holding on until the end of the round. I scored the fight 29-28 for Hadzovic.

WINNER: Damir Hadzovic by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

This was a really fun fight to start the night. Hadzovic looked fantastic for the vast majority of the fight, but his cardio betrayed him late in the third, and Yancy Medeiros was nearly able to finish a rear-naked choke attempt with time running out. Still, Hadzovic needed a win here after dropping his last two fights, and he achieved that here against one of his toughest opponents to date.


Jaynes connected with a pair of powerful punches in the opening minute. Jaynes kept looking for that overhand right hand, which Rosa was having a great deal of trouble avoiding. Rosa was a bit more active on the feet, especially with his low kicks, and he ended the round very strongly, taking Jaynes down and momentarily transitioning to his back. Close round, but I gave the edge to Rosa.

Rosa continued to beat up the lead leg of Jaynes, which prompted Jaynes to shoot for a takedown. Rosa threatened a guillotine, and while he was unsuccessful, he was eventually able to take top position on the ground. It was not the most eventful round on the ground, but once again I scored it for Rosa. 20-18 Rosa.

They returned to the ground early in the final round, with Rosa taking side control. Rosa attempted a north-south choke at one point, which allowed Jaynes to return to his feet. Jaynes connected with a perfect left hook that tagged Rosa, and he began to pour it on. Jaynes just unloaded with strikes on Rosa against the cage, before taking Rosa down. He proceeded to attempt an arm triangle, and it looked tight, but he was ultimately unable to get the finish. 29-28 Rosa.

WINNER: Charles Rosa by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)

Jaynes will likely face heavy criticism for going for that takedown when he had Rosa in trouble on the feet. To his credit, he almost finished the fight with that arm triangle, but in the end, Rosa survived, and that takedown may have very well cost Jaynes the fight. Rosa is now 5-5 in the UFC with this win.


They traded some wild right hands in the opening minutes. There were some crazy exchanges of strikes here, and at one point, Avilla landed a front kick to the face mid-combination. The commentary team decided that their respective breakfast habits were slightly more interesting than this fight, and decided to discuss that topic instead. The pace of the fight slowed to a much more manageable pace before the end of the round. 10-9 Avila.

Stoliarenko’s nose was busted up from Avila’s flurries in the first round. She decided to take the fight to the ground and attempted a leg lock, but Avila escaped back to her feet. Avila was still landing the better shots throughout the round, but Stoliarenko was able to keep Avila wrapped up for an extended portion of the second, making this a much closer round on the scorecards. Still, 20-18 Avila for me.

Avila went back on the attack shortly into the third. She assumed top position against Stoliarenko down near the cage and was able to transition to her back. Avila locked in a rear-naked choke, and Stoliarenko was forced to submit.

WINNER: Julia Avila by rear-naked choke at 4:19 of Round 3

Avila was overcome with emotion after the finish. She told the story of being kicked out of her gym, opening her own, and the positivity that comes from that experience. She gave Cormier a huge and got some blood on his suit. A very solid post-fight interview to cap off a great performance. Avila improved to 3-1 in the UFC with this win.


Villanueva landed a right hand about thirty seconds in that made Prachnio cover-up. His right eye looked as though it was in rough shape following that blow, but he seemed to recover well enough. They exchanged right hands before Villanueva began to throw uppercuts as Prachnio was ducking his head in. Prachnio seemed to get more comfortable as the round wore on, damaging Villanueva’s lead leg with calf kicks. Villanueva’s movement was completely compromised by the end of the round, but Villanueva ended thing strongly with a flurry of right hands. 10-9 Villanueva.

About a minute into the second round, Prachnio switched stances and landed a brutal body kick that just crumbled Villanueva, and the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Marcin Prachnio by TKO at 0:56 of Round 2

Wow, this was a vicious body shot finish. Villanueva was landing the better punches throughout the opening round, but as the fight progressed, the leg kicks from Prachnio began to take over. He switched stances and went to the body for the finishing blow, and this was just a brutal body shot finish, the type of shot that you knew would be a fight ender the second it landed. Prachnio has now won his last two fights after dropping his first three in the UFC.


Wells rushed Alves in the opening seconds, causing Alves to slip, and allowing Wells to jump onto top position. Alves picked himself up but ate a huge left hand on his way back to his feet. Alves had almost no offensive output throughout the round, so this was a pretty easy one to score for Wells, despite a late submission attempt from Alves. 10-9 Wells.

Wells continued to fight aggressively in the second round, and he caught Alves with a right hand that sent him to the ground. Wells followed him to the ground and threw down a pair of follow up shots that knocked Alves unconscious,

WINNER: Jeremiah Wells by KO at 0:30 of Round 2

Wells was going for the kill with every swing, and Felder (who trains with him) remarked that this was actually a more reserved version of Jeremiah Wells. Alves isn’t the easiest draw for a fighter’s UFC debut, but Wells made the most of his opportunity here, picking up a fantastic finish to begin his UFC run. He is now on a three-fight win streak.


The height difference between these two was dramatic. Prazeres was able to close the distance and lock Rakhmonov up in the clinch against the cage, but that resulted in Rakhmonov tripping Prazeres to the ground. Rakhmonov was unable to do much damage or advance his position, which resulted in a rather uneventful round. Prazeres was able to get back to his feet before time expired. 10-9 Rakhmonov.

Rakhmonov threw a spinning back kick to the body to begin the second round. He connected with a step-in knee to the chin and stuffed a takedown attempt from Prazeres. He was able to use his significant reach advantage to land some strong ground and pound, before assuming top position. He transitioned to the back of Prazeres, and locked in a rear-naked choke, forcing Prazeres to submit.

WINNER: Shavkat Rakhmonov by rear-naked choke at 2:10 of Round 2

In his UFC debut, Rakhmonov faced Alex Oliveira, who he submitted in the first round. Here he faced another long-time UFC veteran in Michel Prazeres, and he brought home another submission win. He’s building his name quickly by beating this level of competition, and fourteen finishes in fourteen fights will rightfully give him the reputation of a dangerous fighter. Rakhmonov is certainly a name to keep an eye on among welterweight prospects.


Marques took Nzechukwu down in seconds and immediately climbed his back as Nzechukwu picked himself up. Seeing two guys this tall in the “backpack” position was something. Nzechukwu was able to keep himself out of danger but was unable to shake Marques off of his back. 10-9 Marques.

After a bit of a stalemate on the feet, Marques was able to grab a single leg and drag Nzechukwu to the ground. He took the back of Nzechukwu and began to search for the rear-naked choke. Nzechukwu defended well and escaped to his feet. Knowing that the fight was not necessarily going his way to this point, Nzechukwu let loose with his offense, looking to finish a tired Marques. Marques was able to wrap Nzechukwu back up, and made it out of the round. 19-19.

Nzechukwu didn’t let up with his pressure, and he just continued to swarm Marques with strikes against the cage in the third until the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Kennedy Nzechukwu by TKO at 0:20 of Round 3

Marques started off the fight strongly but was unable to lock in the submission, and when Nzechukwu began to turn it on in the second round, this looked like a different fight entirely. Nzechukwu still has a lot to work on before making his way up the division, but he’s proven himself to be a resilient fighter with heavy hands, and that goes a long way at light heavyweight. Nzechukwu improved to 3-1 in the UFC with this win.


Moicano wasted little time in taking the fight to the ground. Moicano was able to move into full mount, but Herbert showcased some excellent defense and the fight returned to the feet. Herbert caught Moicano with a looping left hook, which prompted Moicano to take him right back down. 10-9 Moicano.

Herbert was dragged back to the ground to begin the second round. Moicano controlled almost the entirety of the round from full mount, and in the final minute, he began to throw down some strong ground and pound shots. Herbert was hurt badly, and gave up his back, allowing Moicano to sink in the rear-naked choke and finish the fight.

WINNER: Renato Moicano by rear-naked choke at 4:34 of Round 2

Moicano largely dominated this fight with his grappling, and he recorded his eighth rear-naked choke with this win. Moicano reflected on his career in his post-fight interview, acknowledging that he fell in love with his striking when his strengths lie in the grappling department. Since moving up to lightweight, Moicano has compiled a record of 2-1, with both of his wins coming by submission. His last lost to Rafael Fiziev was a tough one, but he remains a very talented fighter at 155lbs.

TIM MEANS (31-12-1, 1 NC, 170.5) VS NICOLAS DALBY (19-3-1, 2 NC, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT

This fight quickly turned into a brawl. Means changed levels about thirty seconds into the round, taking Dalby down in the center of the octagon. The commentary team pointed out Dalby’s heavy breathing, questioning if he tired himself out during that opening blitz. I didn’t think that was the case at all, but regardless; he picked himself up, and the fight resumed on the feet. Means landed some solid shots in the final minute to take this round decisively on my scorecard. 10-9 Means.

Means began to really dig into the body in the second round, backing Dalby off after he started the round off hot. Means landed a clean head kick, and Dalby just ate it. Dalby responded with one of his own and flurried forward. Means was looking sharp on the feet, but Dalby was never out of this one, continuously taking the fight to Means. Another head kick connected for Means, and he proceeded to down Dalby by kicking his leg out from under him. Means rode out the remainder of the round from side control. 20-18 Means.

Dalby kept up his pace in the third round, quickly tagging Means with a hard right hand. Means did his best to relieve the pressure by wrapping Dalby up against the cage, giving him no room to work. Means was able to keep Dalby against the cage for the rest of this round, and the fight went the distance. 29-28 Means.

WINNER: Tim Means by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

This was a pretty entertaining fight, with Means taking the first two rounds and then Dalby roaring back in the third. The broadcast team stated that Means became the 50th fighter to log in over four hours of octagon time on this night, which speaks to his longevity as a high-level fighter in the organization. Means is now riding a three-fight win streak.

ANDRE FILI (21-8, 145.5) VS DANIEL PINEDA (27-14, 2 NC, 145) – FEATHERWEIGHT

Fili rocked Pineda badly with a right hand before he swarmed him with punches against the cage. Pineda was able to wrap Fili up in the clinch, and he bought himself time to recover. When they eventually broke apart, Fili went right back on the attack and lit Pineda up with a beautifully accurate combination. Pineda looked like he was just about out on his feet, but he recovered yet again, landing some significant leg kicks. Fili responded with a body kick that crumbled Pineda, and I thought this one was over, but he managed to make it out of the round. 10-8 Fili.

Early in the second round, Pineda got poked in his left eye, an eye that was already in bad shape following the beating he took in the first round. Pineda stressed that he wanted to resume the fight, but he couldn’t see, and the fight was stopped.

RESULT: No Contest due to an eye poke at 0:46 of Round 2  

Both fighters were naturally devastated by this result. The opening round of this fight was perhaps the best Andre Fili has ever looked and had this fight go down as a no-contest was naturally a disappointing result for him, to say the least. Pineda wanted to keep going, but it really looked like his eye was completely shut, so ultimately it was the right decision to stop this fight.  Just as an interesting note, this marked Pineda’s third no contest throughout his last five fights.


This was a rather uneventful opening round. Barcelos was very inactive offensively, and Valiev’s output was not much higher. They exchanged some hard kicks to the legs and body later in the round, but it was still very even, making it tough to give the edge to either fighter. In the final minute, Valiev landed a superman punch and attempted a takedown that Barcelos defended. 10-9 Valiev.

The activity picked up for both men in the second. Valiev continued to be slightly busier, despite often being on the retreat. Both men were feinting a lot, and when they did throw, they were throwing with power. Barcelos began to throw some strong uppercuts, which Valiev responded to with body shots. Barcelos connected with a left hook, and they traded body kicks once again as the round neared its final minute. Barcelos landed a perfectly timed counter right hand that dropped Valiev, and he dropped him yet again with an uppercut. Valiev was just hanging on to stay in this fight, somehow making it to the end of the round. 19-18 Barcelos.

Valiev looked as though he had recovered by the start of the third. Despite all the damage he took at the end of the second, he continued to be the more active fighter in the second round, limiting the power shots from Barcelos. Barcelos’s takedown defense continued to hold up in the third round, but despite his impressive defensive display, I didn’t think he had the output offensively that he needed to take this last round. 28-28.

WINNER: Timur Valiev by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

Barcelos and Valiev fought a high-level fight for fifteen minutes, with the difference-maker ultimately being Valiev’s’ activity. I thought Barcelos did enough to earn a 10-8 in the second, but it was certainly close, and I took no issue with the decision here. Valiev asked for a top fifteen fighter in his post-fight interview and stated that he will kill anyone who gets in his way. Great interview.


Boser landed a looping right hand a minute into the fight, following it up with a nasty leg kick. OSP was very inactive and taking a ton of damage to his lead leg. Boser mixed in some kicks to the body, further limiting Saint Preux’s offensive output. Simple round to score, 10-9 Boser.

The second round was looking very similar at first, but a minute into the round, OSP was able to trip Boser to the ground and began to work from his guard. Boser escaped to his feet (the commentary team claimed he used the fence to pick himself up), and he proceeded to drop Saint Preux hard with a knee to the head, followed by a huge right hand. He threw a pair of bombs down at the dazed Saint Preux, and the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Tanner Boser by KO at 2:31 of Round 2

They replayed and debated the “fence grab” that preceded the end of the fight. After watching the angles that they used for the replay, it looked to me as though Boser didn’t stick his fingers in the cage, and if that is the case, then there should be no controversy attached to this finish. Saint Preux’s offensive output was very low throughout the fight, allowing Boser to pretty much tee off on him all fight long. I really don’t think heavyweight is the division for him, but perhaps at 38 years of age, 205lbs is no longer an option for the UFC veteran.


They touched gloves to begin the fight. Gane was throwing some heavy body kicks early in the fight. He snuck a clever kick right up the middle to the chin. After trading punches, Gane shot for a takedown that Volkov defended. Both men landed a number of leg kicks to end a close round. 10-9 Gane.

Gane continued to advance, putting Volkov on the retreat for the vast majority of the round. Gane chipped away at Volkov from a distance, and while the strike count was in favor of Volkov, it was Gane who was getting the better of their exchanges by moving forward. Gane turned on the aggression in the final minute, and I scored another close round in his favor. 20-18 Gane.

Volkov landed a solid left hand following a slip by Gane. He could not sustain that momentum though, as Gane took over the center of the octagon yet again. Gane backed Volkov up yet again and was landing the stronger shots as Volkov continued to fight cautiously. 30-27 Gane.

The fourth round was looking a lot like the previous three. Gane was comfortably picking Volkov apart as Volkov backed away and circled. To his credit, Volkov landed some of his best shots of the fight throughout the round, but Gane’s chin held up strongly, and Volkov still wasn’t fighting with the desperation of a fighter who was down on the cards. 40-36 Gane.

Volkov’s corner told him the fight was tied going into the final round, which was possible, but unlikely. This was not the advice that Volkov needed to hear to really step on the gas, and the fight resumed at a similar pace. Gane pulled way ahead on the strike count throughout the fifth, taking this round as well. 50-45 Gane.

WINNER: Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)

This fight looked a lot like Ciryl Gane’s last one against Jairzinho Rozenstruik, once again showcasing how effectively he can shut fighters down with his movement and feints. Volkov spent too much time on the back foot, allowing Gane to really pull ahead with his stronger shots. He called out Francis Ngannou in his post-fight interview, which is the only logical next fight for him in my opinion. The division is somewhat logjammed, with Derrick Lewis, Jon Jones, and Stipe Miocic all looking to step in there with Francis Ngannou next, but for my money, Gane versus Ngannou is far and away the most interesting fight of the bunch. If not Ngannou, Stipe Miocic would be the fight to make for Gane, but I’m not sure Miocic is looking for a non-title fight right now, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next at the top of the division

About Eric Marcotte 189 Articles
A graduate of Laurentian University, Eric reports on Mixed Martial Arts at POST Wrestling.