By Devin Hall
The UFC is back this weekend with a main event with two of the top heavyweights in the world, Ciryl “Bon Gamin” Gane and Alexander “Drago” Volkov. These two monsters sit towards the top of the heavyweight rankings as both men are looking to put their name into the mix for next in line at the champion Francis Ngannou. Last week, UFC fans got to see the dominate return of Chan Sung Jung, The Korean Zombie, as he easily handled the highly skilled Dan Ige. Dana White hopes to give the fans one more fight night that will get the fans ready for UFC 264 with a card full of up-and-coming prospects to keep your eyes on for the future.
A fight that I will be having my eye on this weekend is the bout between the Brazilian Raoni Barcelos (16-1) and the Russian Timur “Lucky” Valiev (17-2). This will be a bantamweight fight, which means Valiev will be dropping from 145 pounds at featherweight, down to 135 pounds for this battle. Valiev will be fighting his third fight in the UFC and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Martin May back in February. Barcelos will be at his regular fighting weight, as he looks to move 6-0 in the UFC for his career. Barcelos is looking to get his name into the rankings for the deep bantamweight roster. Valiev is giving a new weight class a go to see if he can rise to the top. This will be a Darkhorse for fight of the night.
The co-main event for this weekend’s card will have a heavyweight bout between the veteran light heavyweight fighter Ovince Saint Preux “OSP” (25-15) and the young brute Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser (19-8). OSP accepted this fight on short notice, making him have to gain weight from 205, to an ideal lighter heavyweight weight for this fight. OSP has fought at heavyweight before but was unsuccessful. Coming of a knockout loss to Jamahal Hill, OSP is hoping to get some momentum back. Boser has recently had a two-fight skid, with one being a bad loss to an older legend, Andrei Arlovski. Boser has some sneaky fast speed with his punches but has lacked the consistency in his bouts. Both fighters are in a must win fight for their UFC future, so expect an all-out heavyweight brawl.
Keeping with the heavyweights, the fight cards main event this weekend feature two of the most prominent names in the division, Ciryl Gane (8-0) and Alexander Volkov (33-8). Volkov was a monster for Bellator, before the UFC signed the 6’7 Russian. Volkov has had his name in the top 10 rankings for the past couple of years and currently sits at fifth. Volkov has a two-fight knock-out win streak, as he beat two top 10 opponents in Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem. His opponent this weekend may be his toughest test ever though. The Frenchman Ciryl Gane is coming in with an undefeated record, but only has 8 professional fights. People are scared that the experience difference will show during the fight, but Gane is a different kind of heavyweight fighter. Instead of being a massive 6’5 heavyweight who only throws haymakers and tires out at the end of fights, Gane offers an amazing Muay-Thai fight style that no other heavyweight has offered. The third ranked heavyweight is super light on his feet and has a fight style that Volkov will not have seen yet throughout his long career. Both fighter could very well be next in line for a heavyweight title shot with a win, so this fight will have a ton on the line for each fighter.
The UFC fight night this weekend will offer fights with the potential of shaking up the upcoming ranking for the divisions for the second half of the year. This will be the last fight card before UFC 264’s McGregor vs Poirier III mega-fight, as next weekend will have no fights. Be sure to catch these amazing fights this weekend starting at 3:00 PM.