Another weekend, another UFC event.
With the headline of a heavyweight title eliminator between the experienced Alexander Volkov and the budding customer Ciryl Gane, UFC Fight Night 190 brings what promises to be a showcase for talented fighters who want to break out of the pack.
With a preliminary map boasting Shavkat Rakhmonov and Warlley Alves, the recent Las Vegas event looks set to be an entertaining battle.
Ciryl Gane (8-0) vs. Alexander Volkov (33-8)
This is by far the biggest test of Gane’s career so far, and it will be fascinating to see how he handles someone who is Volkov’s quality on his feet.
With his long range, accuracy and output, Volkov is a tough opponent for almost everyone and has only been bestowed inside the octagon by takedown machine Curtis Blaydes and the devastating KO power of Derrick Lewis.
In order for Gane to defeat Volkov, he will probably have to bury the Russian and keep him there, which is a tough request for anyone who can get him there.
On his feet, while Gane is composed and technology far beyond his experience, Volkov is the one further down the line where he has been there and done it at the top level.
It’s a really tough choice, as I think Gane is 100% destined for UFC gold, but Volkov has the extra noise and knowledge at this point that may prove crucial.
Select: Alexander Volkov
Tanner Boser (19-8-1) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (25-15)
OSP’s ability to find opportunities to end the fight is the only factor to consider when sitting with him these days, as his low production and age do not encourage him to be competitive at this point.
While Boser is not exactly the most entertaining of warriors himself, he provides action on his feet as well as greater durability than his opponent, who should see the natural heavy weight gain here.
Select: Tanner Boser
Raoni Barcelos (16-1) vs. Timur Valiev (17-2, 1 NC)
Both Barcelos and Valiev are well-rounded, but I think Barcelos has the extra ability on the mat as well as the strength behind his strikes.
Valiev is probably more eager when it comes to initiating takedowns, but with Barcelos’ quality when it comes to fighting, I doubt he will sail the Brazilian as often as he normally will.
This should be a competitive match, but Barcelos seems to be set for the top 15 in bantamweight.
Select: Raoni Barcelos
Andre Fili (21-8) vs. Daniel Pineda (27-14, 2 NC)
Fili and Pineda are all-action warriors who push the pace on their feet, and their willingness to scrap can see them act in their pockets until one or the other falls.
If Fili is smart, he should look into spending his fighter on points in this fight as I feel he is the better man there.
No matter how likely or not it is, I will still be sitting with ‘Touchy’ here as he should have the speed advantage with his jabs.
Select: Other Fili
Tim Means (31-12-1, 1 NC) vs. Nicolas Dalby (19-3-1, 2 NC)
While Means and Dalby do their best on their feet, the battle over where the battle takes place must be the key to victory.
With Means better in close, while Dalby’s karate background favors a longer range, footwork and functionality will be crucial.
It’s another hard one to call, but I think Means works at a higher cut than his Danish counterpart will just give him a nod on the referees’ scorecard.
Select: Tim Means
Renato Moicano (14-4-1) vs. Jai Herbert (10-2)
Herbert has certainly the power to hurt Moicano, and the Brazilian’s tendency to be branded should give the Englishman some confidence on his way into this match.
While Herbert is also a decent scrambler, I think Moicano has the better pedigree when it comes to fighting and he needs to look at taking advantage of that quality gap in this fight.
Moicano’s dubious decision making should do this closer than it could be, but I will cautiously stand with Moicano to get the job done.
Select: Renato Moicano
(Last predictions: 3/6, total: 59/108, 55% success rate)
(Success rate: 2016: 61%, ’17: 60%, ’18: 58%, 19 ′: 57%, 20 ′: 67%)