Saturday, September 29 – 6:00 p.m. ET Capital FM Arena – Nottingham, England
Stefan Struve (28-5) vs. Stipe Miocic (9-0)
Heavyweight bout Line: Miocic -200, Struve +160
Stefan Struve will look to send Stipe Miocic to his first career loss as these two heavyweights come to blows in the lead bout on UFC on Fuel TV 5’s main card.
Since joining UFC in 2011, Miocic has made a habit of making easy work out of his more difficult competition. He first won a decision against Joey Beltran last October and since then has earned punch knockouts against Phil De Fries and Shane del Rosario in the first and second rounds, respectively. Struve enters this bout 8-3 in his UFC career, with his lone losses coming to the best competitors—Travis Browne, Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos. At 6-foot-11, Struve is easily the tallest fighter in UFC and holds a seven-inch height advantage over Miocic. But his reach advantage is only four inches, and Miocic is too technically sound a fighter to lose this fight to the powerful giant. Play on MIOCIC as the favorite to win this bout and further build his resume for a heavyweight title fight down the road.
The MMA Odds Breaker crew gives their fight predictions based on the opening lines for this bout:
Of Struve’s 33 professional MMA fights, just one has gone to a decision. The most interesting aspect about his size is that he does not just use it for its raw power—he often goes to the ground with it. Submissions are the bread and butter of his game with 16 career wins coming that way. He supplements his grappling Jiu Jitsu skills with supreme kickboxing power. But, even though he has made work of easier UFC opponents, he has yet to show he can beat a really good one. Stipe Miocic is looking more and more like a really good one, who will soon contend for the divisional crown.
Of Miocic’s nine career wins, seven have been by knockout, one was a submission and one was a decision. He is quite fast for his size (240 lbs.) and has a background in collegiate wrestling. That makes takedowns a critical part of his game, which should be an interesting contrast to Struve’s submission attempts. What’s more with Miocic is that he looks better and better each time out, consistently earning convincing results against improving opponents. He has yet to face an elite fighter, but a win here should give him that opportunity.