What happens when you matchup a power punching veteran with a young bean pole from the Netherlands?
You get UFC 107’s main card kickoff bout, of course.
There’s a lot to like about Stefan Struve; he’s young, he’s talented, and he is an absolute matchup nightmare standing at 6’11”. Struve may come from a kickboxing back ground but it is his submission game that has lead him to where he is today. Of Struve’s 18 professional wins 14 have come by way of submission, considering his height and limb length it’s easy to see why.
But Struve still has a long way to go before he is ready to deal with the likes of “The Headhunter,” Paul Buentello.
In no way is Buentello one of these new breed heavyweight monsters; hell, he looks more like an average construction worker who loves beer than a highly trained professional athlete. If recent TUF winner Roy “Big Country” Nelson has taught us anything, it's that looks can be deceiving.
Don’t be fooled by Buentello’s soft, unimpressive appearance, because underneath lies a hard hitting and technically sound KO machine. Not only does Buentello have great power, he is also deceptively fast for a man his size.
When Buentello’s hand it raised at the end of the fight it should come as no surprise to anyone in the audience. He has more experience, faced better competition, and has one-punch KO power. The only way for Struve to be victorious is to pull guard and catch the veteran in a submission.
Look for the match to open up with Struve staying on the outside utilizing his freakish length. Buentello will eventually close the distance and punish the Dutch kickboxer with some hard strikes. Struve will attempt to pull guard, but Buentello being as experienced as he is will not dare play with Struve’s length on the ground.
Back on the feet, Struve will continue to try and keep Buentello away but as soon as Buentello finds his range it will be the end for the young fighter.
Buentello with end the fight towards the end of the first round with a flurry of vicious punches; the referee will have no choice but to stop the action and declare Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello the victor.
Of course, my colleague E. Spencer Kyte sees things playing out a bit differently. For his perspective on why it will be Stefan Struve who will be victorious, click here and check out his latest article.