Last night (Sat., June 26, 2021), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) remained inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 30. As is becoming the norm, last night’s event wasn’t the most star-studded, but it was carried by some pivotal Heavyweight match ups. In addition, there were some great scraps throughout the night, which kept things fun until the more high-profile match ups.
Let’s take a closer look at the best performances and techniques:
Ciryl Gane, Future Champion
Gane walked into the cage opposite a man with the skills and style to give him problems. Volkov can largely match Gane’s range, and he’s a high-volume striker who has got plenty of experience in five-round battles.
None of Volkov’s experience seemed to make a difference, The Russian striker started well enough, sure, but it didn’t take long for Gane’s creativity and speed to keep him on the back foot. Perhaps more than speed, did we learn a bit more about how hard Gane hits? Volkov has never been one to back off from a scrap, but he could not force himself to step into the fire despite desperately needing to move forward — that’s real evidence that Gane lands harder than his knockout record would suggest (watch highlights).
Now 9-0 and 31 years old, Gane is going to be a problem for the Heavyweight division for many years to come.
Boser Bulldozes OSP
Ovince Saint Preux is not a Heavyweight. He may not be a small Light Heavyweight, but it’s very clear after last night’s bout with Tanner Boser that fighting bigger men is not in his best interest.
Boser did not respect Saint Preux’s power, and few Light Heavyweights could ever make that claim. Right away, Boser was blasting his opponent with power kicks. He didn’t have to do much in the way of setting them up, just feint and rip a right kick to the inner thigh or across the mid-section. In between knocking “OSP” backwards with heavy kicks, Boser would feint and try to line up big overhand and left hook swings.
Outside of a single takedown from Saint Preux, it was a pretty perfect performance from Boser, who scored the stoppage in round two.
Shavkat Rakhmonov is very much the real deal.
The 26-year-old Welterweight secured his second UFC victory in dominant fashion last night, showing plus skills in pretty much every area. Michel Prazeres is a tough veteran with some really excellent wins on his record, and Rakhmonov just carved through him like a Thanksgiving turkey (watch highlights).
As with his debut win over Alex Oliveira, Rakhmonov really excels in close distance exchanges. He finds small openings to land punishing knees with a great consistency. He also managed to deny or reverse his foe’s takedowns, showcasing great defensive wrestling. In fact, his counter wrestling is how Rakhmonov landed on the back mount, where he became the first man to submit the jiu-jitsu ace.
Expect the former M-1 kingpin to ascend into the Top 10 sooner than later.
A Thundering Debut
Philadelphia’s Jeremiah Wells did not come to point fight in his debut performance vs. Warlley Alves (watch highlights).
From the first bell, Wells was throwing big. His punches may not have been the most technical, but he was very clearly throwing with a ton power, and early on, his aggression saw him pulling the momentum into his corner. However, Alves found more success in the latter half of the round, finding his timing as the newcomer began to lose a bit of steam.
Wells apparently recovered really well between rounds! He came out firing once more in the second, and this time, he managed to maneuver around an Alves’ kick. Coming in from the blind angle, Wells slammed a right hand into the Brazilian’s chin. Alves hit the mat, and the follow up series of brutal punches kept him there.
Alves may not be a ranked fighter, but he’s still one hell of a scalp for Wells’ debut.
- Renato Moicano defeats Jai Herbert via second-round rear-naked choke (HIGHLIGHTS): Moicano played it smart last night. Coming off a pretty rough knockout loss, the Brazilian did not opt to strike with Herbert, the lanky, awkward, and dangerous puncher. Instead, he went right to his takedown game, and he dominated from top position! Moicano’s jiu-jitsu really is exceptional, so hopefully he continues to make full use of his skill set.
- Kennedy Nzechukwu defeats Danilo Marques via third-round knockout (HIGHLIGHTS): Take it from someone who’s done it many times: holding onto back mount on a standing opponent for an entire round exhausts the legs. Marques encountered that unique brand of fatigue, starting the fight in very dominant fashion but looking far slower for it in the second. He still managed a takedown or two in the middle frame, but the tide was turning, and Nzechukwu turned it on with combinations whenever given the opening. By the third, “African Savage” was able to tee off, and Marques was seemingly too tired to defend himself.
- Marcin Prachnio defeats Ike Villanueva via second-round knockout (HIGHLIGHTS): This fight did not start well for Prachnio! “Hurricane Ike” was battering him early, finding hard left hooks and uppercuts through his opponent’s guard. However, the Polish fighter endured, and once his low kick began to land, the tide shifted. Suddenly, Villanueva wasn’t able to push forward with much confidence, allowing Prachnio to really start letting loose with his strikes. He was touching the body well with his punches and kicks, but the finish came as Prachnio shifted Southpaw and slammed home a left kick to the liver. Villanueva crumbled, and Prachnio scored his second Octagon victory!
- Julia Avila defeats Julija Stoliarenko via third-round rear-naked choke (HIGHLIGHTS): Avila pretty much put it on Stoliarenko, who doesn’t appear ready for UFC-level competition. From the first bell, Avila was looking to swarm, and though the exchanges got sloppy, “Raging Panda” was consistently winning them. Plus, she ripped a few nasty front kicks from close distance! As the beating continued to build up, Stoliarenko grew more desperate to get the fight to the floor, which is how Avila was able to find herself on the back, attacking the neck.
For complete UFC Vegas 30: “Gane vs. Volkov” results and play-by-play, click HERE.