Struve vs. Miocic: Preview, Odds and Predictions for UFC on Fuel TV 5 Main Card
Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic have become two of the more intriguing up-and-comers in the heavyweight division. Both fighters have won three straight UFC bouts and are looking to take that big step toward competing against upper-echelon heavyweights.
On Saturday, Struve and Miocic will meet in the UFC on Fuel TV 5 main event to determine which fighter is more prepared to test themselves against the top competitors in their division.
The event, which will be held on English soil, will also feature a plethora of British fighters.
Brad Pickett will try to reclaim his status as a top bantamweight by beating Yves Jabouin. Undefeated lightweight Paul Sass will try to take one step closer to becoming a 155-pound contender against Matt Wiman.
Additionally, welterweights Dan Hardy, John Hathaway, John Maguire and Che Mills will attempt to climb the 170-pound rankings when they appear on the UFC on Fuel TV 5 main card.
As we prepare for the weekend's UFC event, let's take a look at the odds for the featured bouts.
Che Mills vs. Duane Ludwig
Che Mills: -205
Duane Ludwig: +165
Duane Ludwig is a former muay thai champion, so he's one of the more technical strikers in the welterweight division to be sure.
However, having lost five of his past eight fights, the 34-year-old may be starting to fade after 16 long years of combat sports experience.
Englishman Che Mills may not have the same skill level in his striking that Ludwig does, but the 29-year-old is much closer to his athletic prime than his UFC on Fuel TV 5 opponent.
Mills has really only been defeated when he's been forced to fight on the ground, so expect him to out-muscle Ludwig in the clinch and finish this bout quickly with a big knee.
Mills defeats Ludwig by knockout in the first round.
Paul Sass vs. Matt Wiman
Paul Sass: -120
Matt Wiman: -110
Undefeated in his first 13 fights, Paul Sass is beginning to look like an eventual contender in the lightweight division. However, the submission specialist has not been forced to put his striking on display—so much is still unknown about the 24-year-old British fighter.
Matt Wiman has had difficulty breaking through to the elite level of UFC lightweights, but he's won the fights he's been supposed to win. Wiman isn't a world-class wrestler, but he has solid enough takedown defense to avoid going to the ground with Sass.
If he keeps this fight standing and exposes what could be a major hole in his opponent's skill set, Wiman could pick up a fifth win in his past six fights.
Wiman defeats Sass by decision.
Brad Pickett vs. Yves Jabouin
Brad Pickett: -225
Yves Jabouin: +175
The only fighter other than bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz to hold a victory over flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson, Brad Pickett often doesn't receive his due credit for being one of the better 135-pound fighters in the world.
Pickett has the solid striking that has come to be expected from British fighters, but he is equally skilled on the ground, having submitted 10 of the 21 opponents he's beaten.
Yves Jabouin is very technical striker, but he's shown holes in his ground game in the past. If Jabouin keeps this fight standing, he has a good chance of winning, but Tristar Gym fighter will be at significant risk if he is forced to fight off of his back against Pickett.
Pickett defeats Jabouin by submission in the second round.
John Hathaway vs. John Maguire
John Hathaway: -265
John Maguire: +205
At 25 years old, John Hathaway has already won in six of seven Octagon appearances. With wins over Diego Sanchez and Rick Story, Hathaway has proven to be a well-rounded fighter with the potential to become a contender in the near future.
John Maguire's greatest threat to Hathaway is his submission ability. However, Hathaway has never been submitted in his 17 professional fights, so he is the safe bet in this matchup between British welterweights.
Hathaway defeats Maguire by decision.
Dan Hardy vs. Amir Sadollah
Dan Hardy: -210
Amir Sadollah: +170
With his recent knockout win over Duane Ludwig, Dan Hardy broke a four-fight winning streak and likely saved his UFC career from a certain end. Now, Hardy—who has looked excellent on his feet against anyone not named Carlos Condit—can set his sights on climbing his way back up the welterweight ladder.
Amir Sadollah has a good ground game, but he doesn't always have the offensive wrestling to get his fights into that realm. If he fails to gain the top position, he'll be in trouble against Hardy, who just knocked out the last fighter to beat Sadollah in a primarily stand-up bout.
Hardy defeats Sadollah by technical knockout in the first round.
Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic: -225
Stefan Struve: +175
Despite his enormous reach, Stefan Struve has had difficulty staying out of the range of power punches from the heavyweight division's heavier hitters. With seven knockouts in nine fights, Stipe Miocic falls into that category of opponents Struve has faced with knockout power.
In addition to his dangerous boxing, Miocic possesses excellent wrestling, which will allow him to avoid being trapped in Struve's guard. Miocic has the skill to dictate where this fight takes place and the punching power to end it standing.
Miocic defeats Struve by knockout in the first round.
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