UFC Vegas 30: Alexander Volkov wary of Gane threat

Two top-five contenders from the division -- Ciryl Gane and Alexander Volkov -- will square off this Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 30 in Nevada. 

Two top-five contenders from the division -- Ciryl Gane and Alexander Volkov -- will square off this Saturday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The heavyweight division is one of the most exciting weight categories in the Ultimate Fighting Championship at present. Two top-five contenders from the division -- Ciryl Gane and Alexander Volkov -- will square off this Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 30 in Nevada.  

Volkov, who holds a 33-8 MMA career record, does not intend on underestimating his undefeated opponent Gane in the lead-up to the UFC Fight Night while he also maintains that his confidence levels have hit a new high.

"Ciryl is a great striker. His biggest strength is standup. I want to see how my standup will fare against his. I don't think there will be a submission or anything in this fight. I am always confident, and that's why I'm in this sport. So, no matter how my career goes, defeat or victory, I'm always confident," Volkov told Sportstar.

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The Russian fighter feels a win over Gane could push him closer to a title shot next. However, he is keen on taking it step by step as there's a possibility of getting carried away.

"I hope that this fight will take me to the next step. And this is a contenders' fight. Both of us are interested in a title shot next. So, we can produce a great show with the current champion (Francis Ngannou) or his next challenger. I hope that this is the right path for me to return to the top," added Volkov.

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"But in Russia, we usually say that looking past your current opponent is not good. So, I will behave like a gentleman and express my thoughts about the fight with Gane now. We'll talk about the title later."

Volkov has suffered two defeats in his UFC career, both to higher-ranked fighters -- No.2 Derrick Lewis and No.4 Curtis Blaydes. The 32-year-old mixed martial artist claims that he has gained lots of positives from those losses. "After both defeats, I felt better because they opened up some of my weaknesses. I decided to work hard on them. To be better in this business, you have to compete with the best. Once you are with the best, without the losses, you can't grow. So, it's the usual process."

The reigning UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou is reportedly set to face Lewis next. Former light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones has also been weighed up as a possible future challenger by several pundits and fans. Volkov opened up on these varied matchups.

"Derrick Lewis can surprise people. Back in February, during his last fight with Blaydes, he showed everyone his worth. They thought it's an easy fight for Blaydes. We saw how it ended. Although most people will see the next one as an easy fight for Francis Ngannou, he's already lost to Lewis. So, the champ must try to avenge that loss. We'll see how it goes," he said.

"Coming to Jones, he is a talented Light heavyweight fighter. But we have a different level of opposition in the heavyweight division. It's pretty easy to show. Let me fight him on his first fight as a heavyweight, and you will see how fun it will be."

Watch UFC Fight Night - Gane vs Volkov on June 27, 2021, LIVE on Sony Ten 1 channel from 1:30 AM IST

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