Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (23-5-0) vs. Lavar “Big” Johnson (17-5-0)
In this match-up, whoever can control the fight will win it. Struve has five losses four by knockout, one by submission, and has finished 15 of his 23 wins by submission. Johnson on the other hand has five losses with one by knockout, four by submission, and has 15 of his 17 wins by knockout. Plus, there is only one decision between their 40 wins. This just proves that you know this fight will not go to the judges.
Struve will need to get this fight to the ground no matter what happens., he doesn’t have the chin to withstand too much punishment from Johnson. At age 24, Struve is 4-1 in his last five fights, and if he can prove to be able to beat a great standup fighter he will move up the rankings. The problem is, big strikers are his kryptonite. He will not be able to rely on his reach like he would have with his former opponent Mark Hunt. Struve needs to be able to tie Johnson up against the cage, and get the fight to the ground where he will have a great chance of winning.
Johnson’s best position is standing. He has some of the heaviest hands in the division with the majority of his wins coming within the first round. Johnson needs to keep the fight standing, because if Pat Barry can take you down and put you in a submission, most people can. Hopefully, taking this fight on short notice will not affect him.
The Bottom Line: Struve always seems to fail when he is on the cusp of being a true contender. Look for that to continue here when the strength and power of Johnson forces him unconscious.