Two heavyweight strikers meet on the main card of UFC 175: Weidman vs Machida to put their skills on display at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, as heavyweight stand out Stefan Struve will go toe-to-toe with Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 10 vet Matt Mitrione, in a battle that can send either man crumbling to the canvas if the right punch connects cleanly.
Both men have shown a lot of promise and definitely have their moments of shine in a lot of their fights, but there’s certainly some inconsistency on both sides.
Mitrione hasn’t been able to put together two wins ever since stepping up in competition when he faced Cheick Kongo at UFC 137, falling short and coughing up a unanimous decision loss. He’s a very accurate puncher with some quick feet and throws good combinations in the pocket, and his athleticism is probably what carried him to victory in a lot of his past fights. Punishing Joey Beltran for fifteen minutes without being able to finish just isn’t very impressive to me.
I’m just not sure if he can negate the extreme advantage in size and length that the Skyscraper will have on him.
Problem is Struve’s size almost never works to his advantage because he never uses a long jab to set up any of his power strikes. The guy wades in the pocket and makes himself a huge target that’s almost begging to get hit. But I think he has just enough stand up technique to last long enough to get this fight to the floor, where he will find out quickly that his knowledge on the ground is superior to that of “Meathead” Mitrione. Plus, his freakish size will likely keep Mitrione honest and unwilling to get into wild exchanges early in the fight, which is probably the best time for him to make something happen before Struve finds his groove.
His lack of head movement, footwork and speed can always get him clocked clean and knocked out cold, but I’m thinking Struve’s range will be just enough to keep Mitrione guessing the whole time until he finds the takedown.
Look for the seven-footer to complete the takedown in round one and introduce Mitrione to a much higher level of submission grappling.
Prediction- Struve by Submission