UFC Vegas 30
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC Vegas 30: Gane vs. Volkov: Main Card Previews and Predictions

UFC Vegas 30 kicks off early in the day, and is full of great fights. Expect lots of action, maybe some submissions, and a few knockouts along the way.

(UR) Renato Moicano vs. (UR) Jai Herbert (Lightweight)

Kicking off the main card is a lightweight showdown between Renato Moicano and Jai Herbert. Renato Moicano is a beast. He has elite-level wrestling and ridiculous endurance. His wrestling bag is so deep that he can really beat his opponent however he wants if he can get them on the ground. Jai Herbert is relatively new to the UFC, with only one fight, which was a loss, under his belt. He is a flat-out striker, with 8 of his 10 pro wins coming by way of knockout. This is a classic striker vs. wrestler matchup with two contrasting styles fighting for superiority. I predict a 2nd round knockout by Jai Herbert.

(UR) Tim Means vs. (UR) Nicolas Dalby (Welterweight)

The second fight of the main card features Tim Means and Nicolas Dalby in a welterweight scrap. Tim Means has fought everybody and their mother in his time in the UFC. With 31 pro wins, he has all the experience in the world. A flat-out beast on his feet, Means always looks for the knockout. Nicolas Dalby is just an all-around complete fighter. He has great power, high-level wrestling, and the cardio to go 3 rounds. I really think the deciding factor in this fight is whether Dalby can stay out of trouble inside Means’ reach. If Dalby can avoid taking a big shot, I think he wins this fight by split decision.

(UR) Andre Fili vs. (UR) Daniel Pineada (Featherweight)

Fight number 3 on the main card of UFC Vegas 30 pits Andre Fili and Daniel Pineada against each other in a featherweight bout. Andre “Touchy” Fili is a striker, plain and simple. He has decent wrestling, but his main strategy is to punch his opponent’s teeth out. He also does a really good job of using takedowns to either get out of trouble or to get set up his ground and pound game. Daniel Pineada is an elite submission artist. With 18 submissions in 27 pro wins, it is clear that his strategy is to take his opponent down and make them tap. He also has sneaky power, with 9 wins by knockout. I think the threat of takedown and submission will open up other opportunities for Pineada. I love this fight, but I would hate to be a judge for it. I have Pineada by 3rd round submission.

(UR) Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. (UR) Danilo Marques (Light Heavyweight) (Garrett Burroughs)

Kennedy Nzechukwu (try saying or typing that five times fast) is very green when it comes to his MMA career, but what he lacks in overall skills, he makes up for in physical gifts and raw punching power. His takedown defense has gotten significantly better over his career as well. It will certainly get tested against Danilo Marques, as Marques’s entire game plan is centered around his grappling skills. Winner of back to back fights under the UFC banner, Marques will look to make a little noise and possibly crack the top 15 with a third straight win. I have a hard time thinking of a situation where Marques will out-muscle Nzechukwu to the ground, so I think he will be able to land the big shot and finish this fight early. Give me Nzechukwu by KO. 

(UR) Tanner Boser vs. (UR) Ovince Saint Preux (Heavyweight) (Garrett Burroughs)

Why this fight is the co-main event is beyond me. Both fighters are coming off of losses and the fight before you have younger prospects and fighters who have recently won fights. But, I digress. 

The Canadian Tanner Boser is currently 3-3 with the UFC, including a loss to the man in the main event Ciryl Gane. The man cannot stuff a takedown if his life depended on it, and against anyone worth their salt he has underperformed. On the flip side of the coin, you have Ovince Saint Preux who is 38 and is trying his hand at heavyweight. There was a recent time where he was fighting Jon Jones but has come back down to earth since that time. One big advantage OSP will have is a 5 inch reach advantage and much better footwork. I think the rapid decline of Boser continues here, through what will be a boring fight leading up to a lackluster submission. *Side bet, with a loss, Boser is cut from the roster* OSP via submission

#3 Ciryl Gane vs. #5 Alexander Volkov (Heavyweight) (Garrett Burroughs)

Ciryl Gane and Alexander Volkov cap off UFC Vegas 30 with a heavyweight tilt that should be a title eliminator. Gane is undefeated in his professional career, and coming off the heels of a good outing in a decision win over Jairzinho Rozensturik, he is looking to use his well-rounded skills to vault his way to a title fight. While his list of fighters he’s beaten may not be the most flashy, one cannot deny his dominance in his 8 professional wins. On the other hand, Alexander Volkov is 7-2 in his return to the UFC but his track record of wins is not impressive either, with 5 of his wins coming against fighters who are no longer with the company. Volkov has used his excellent boxing and range to batter opponents, and he will look to use his range against Gane. I expect a long-drawn-out feeling out process before the fireworks begin to go off. This fight can either end early, or go to decision. As much as I like Gane and I think he has potential, I think this is Volkov’s time to show what he’s made up on the big stage. Volkov wins via 4th round TKO and should earn a title shot against the scariest man alive Francis Ngannou. 

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