UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. StruveSaturday, Dec. 13 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Alistair Overeem (37-14) vs. Stefan Struve (29-6) Heavyweight bout
Line: Overeem -235, Struve +185
Alistair Overeem fights in a match that could decide his future in the UFC as he goes up against Stefan Struve Saturday at UFC Fight Night in Phoenix.
Overeem was thought to be the next big thing in the sport, but has been unable to get anything going, and enters this fight losing three of his past four matches. In his last fight, Overeem went up against Ben Rothwell, and was knocked out just over two minutes into the first round. Overeem has great athleticism for the heavyweight class, but has not been able to dictate the tempo of the fight. Overeem was knocked out in each of his past three losses, with two of those coming in the first round. Despite the recent struggles, he does have some impressive victories in his career, as he has defeated guys like Frank Mir, Brock Lesnar and Fabricio Werdum. Struve has been out since March 3, 2013, when he lost to Mark Hunt by way of TKO. He was diagnosed with a heart condition in mid-2013, and he is just now ready to fight again. Like Overeem, he has some impressive victories in his career, as the 26-year-old from the Netherlands has wins against Stipe Miocic and Dave Herman. While he has been out for a long time, STRUVE has a lot of potential in the sport to make a nice payout on Saturday when he prevails against Overeem.
"Skyscraper" Struve has 29 wins in his career, with 16 of those victories coming by way of submission. He has seven victories by knockout, with the other six by decision. Struve is a rare fighter in the UFC, as he stands at 7-foot- tall. That height makes him very difficult to knock out, as it is very hard for opponents to hit him on the chin. That length also makes it very easy for him to keep his opponent at bay, allowing him to dictate the fight. If he is able to stand and keep Overeem at an arm's length, he has a great chance to get the victory. However, if there is one thing Overeem can do, it is take his opponent to the ground.
"Demolition Man" Overeem has 37 victories in his career, with 17 coming by both way of knockout and submission. He only has three wins by decision. Overeem will have a huge advantage when it comes to grappling, as he averages 1.79 takedowns, compared to 0.56 for Struve. He is one of the best wresters in the heavyweight class, where he has the ability to end the match in a hurry. Struve defends only 33% of his opponent’s takedowns, which is the way that Overeem has to attack this fight. This is a matchup of contrasting styles and different talents, but as long as Overeem is able to take the match to the ground, he will get the victory.