Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt(8-7-0) vs. Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve(25-5-0)
This fight is essentially between two fighters who could be number one contenders if it weren’t so hard for the UFC to sell them as such. Hunt came into the UFC with minimal fanfare since he had squandered his hype from PRIDE with a six-fight losing streak. He lost his debut in the Octagon, but three straight wins and a drop in weight showed he still had potential. Struve, on the other hand, has one of the best streaks as a UFC heavyweight, going 6-1 with finishes in every win. But his knockout losses to Junior dos Santos, Roy Nelson and Travis Browne have made fans and pundits doubt his chin.
Struve can do a lot for his career with a win over Hunt, because Hunt is seen as one of the heaviest hitters in all of MMA. The problem is Struve’s best chances come on the ground. Hunt has tapped out in six of his seven losses, and over half of Struve’s wins have come by submission. Therefore, Struve posessing the wrestling to take the fight to the ground becomes the biggest question going into this bout.
If Struve cannot get it to the ground, he will need to use his reach to keep Hunt away. Ten inches is the difference in the two fighters’ reach, and twelve inches is the difference in the two fighters heights. Hunt’s power will diminish just based on the distance between Struve’s chin and his fist. Hunt will need to tie Struve up against the fence, because he needs to get on the inside. Working the body may be key, because if he works the body, then he may hurt Struve – which would open him up for a big punch.
The Bottom Line:
Hunt has a chance in this fight, but it looks like Struve has finally started to utilize his reach more. This will win him the fight, as it will give him the chance to get the fight to the ground. Struve by second-round submission.