UFC on FUEL TV 5: Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterSeptember 24, 2012

UFC on FUEL TV 5: Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    This Saturday, UFC on Fuel TV 5—also known as UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic—will go down in Nottingham, England.

    As you may have surmised, the main event pits Stefan Struve (24-5, 8-3 UFC) against Stipe Miocic (9-0, 3-0 UFC) in a battle to tease out a new contender in the UFC's heavyweight division.

    This will be the first UFC main event of any kind for either man.

    Both have strengths, both have weaknesses and both are exciting fighters.

The Tale of the Tape

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    The Numbers

    Struve: 24 years old, 6'11", 260 pounds
    Miocic: 30 years old, 6'4", 245 pounds

    Stipe Miocic is a big, solid dude. However, Stefan Struve will always win this one, no matter the opponent. 

Standup

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    The Numbers

    Struve: 6 wins, 4 losses by T/KO
    Miocic: 7 wins, 0 losses by T/KO

    The numbers do not lie.

    Stipe Miocic is a converted Golden Gloves boxer. His bread and butter are hard kicks and harder punches. Furthermore, as he showed in February against Philip De Fries, he can take it as well as dish it out.

    Struve has a strong jaw, but sometimes relies on it too much. He's been on the wrong end of highlight-reel losses to hard hitters like Roy Nelson and Travis Browne because of this (although he did seem to learn his lesson against Lavar Johnson).

    Miocic is a similarly hard hitter. He also wears Cro Cop shorts, which provide a distinct physical advantage.

    It's not metaphorical. Those shorts have powers.

    Miocic wins here.

    Advantage: Miocic

Grappling

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    Miocic was a Division I wrestler in college. In his last fight—against Shane del Rosario—he was able to take down his opponent and work some hard ground-and-pound for the win.

    Miocic is well-rounded, but he's definitely a striker first. The key to Struve's recent surge is a surge in his effective use of submission grappling.

    Struve is a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's not Rickson Gracie, but he still knows his way around the mat. Those long and nimble limbs make wrestling Struve a bit like trying to nail grape jelly to a wall.  

    Advantage: Struve    

Submissions

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    The Numbers

    Struve: 16 wins, 1 loss by submission
    Miocic: 1 win, 0 losses by submission

    It can't be said enough.

    The UFC's tallest fighter, Struve, knows how to use all 6'11" of himself to put his opponents in uncomfortable positions.

    Sure, if you put your neck in front of him, Miocic can throw on a choke. However, it's not something he's going to hunt for and it's not something his opponents need to worry a great deal about.

    With that being said, Miocic's submission defense has been solid to date. We'll see if Struve puts it to the test. 

    Advantage: Struve 

Between the Ears

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    Miocic is undefeated.

    Meanwhile, Struve is 3-0 in his last three fights, with all three wins coming by stoppage.

    Both of these men are brimming with confidence, and seem ready for this test.

    Advantage: Push

Bottom Line

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    I thought Miocic was the man to beat here, but I don't think that anymore. 

    On foot, Struve is at a disadvantage. However, Miocic may face a wider deficit on the ground, where Struve has been earning his money as of late.

    It's a matter of who can exploit who; I think Struve is in a better position to do it, and wipe that zero off Miocic's record.

    Prediction: Struve by submission