UFC 175 Fight Breakdown: Stefan Struve (-160) vs. Matt Mitrione (+140)

tuf-16-finale One of the main card fights at UFC 175 is a three-round heavyweight bout between Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve and Matt Mitrione. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Struve as a -160 favorite (bet $160 to win $100) while Mitrione is a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Struve at -140 and Mitrione at +100, and so far there has been some support for the favorite Struve. I agree with the support for Struve as I’m also picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Struve (25-6) is coming back to the UFC after a 16-month layoff due to a heart condition that nearly ended his career. The ailment has now been corrected, though, and the UFC has give him a fair matchup in his return against Mitrione. Just 26 years of age, Struve has a wealth of experience against some of the top heavyweights in the world and is overall 9-4 in the UFC with wins over Stipe Miocic, Lavar Johnson, Pat Barry, Paul Buentello, Chase Gormley, Denis Stojnic, Dave Herman, Sean McCorkle and Christian Morecraft and losses to Junior dos Santos, Roy Nelson, Mark Hunt, and Travis Browne. Standing at nearly 7 feet tall, Struve is the tallest heavyweight in the UFC and with his reach of over 84.5 inches he is one of the longest fighters in UFC history. He is a true finisher, having won 23 of his 25 career fights via stoppage, including 16 wins by submission and seven by knockout. He is one of the most exciting heavyweights in the UFC and has won three Submission of the Night, one Knockout of the Night and one Fight of the Night awards. Overall he is extremely well rounded and with his physical gifts he should be one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division, but his striking defence is awful and overall he has lost five fights by knockout, including his last fight against Hunt where he broke his jaw. Still, he is a very talented fighter and if he can use his jab to keep the distance on the feet and his submission ability when his fights hit the ground, he can beat anyone in the world on any given day, and that includes Mitrione, who he faces this weekend at UFC 175. Mitirone (7-3) was on TUF season 10 and has so far carved out a nice career for himself in the UFC, going 7-3 overall with wins over Shawn Jordan, Phil De Fries, Christian Morecraft, Tim Hague, Joey Beltran, Kimbo Slice and Marcus Jones and losses to Roy Nelson, Cheick Kongo, and Brendan Schaub. At 35 years of age, Mitrione is definitely not on the upswing, but he’s still a decent heavyweight and can beat a lot of guys in the division with his vicious knockout power. However, he doesn’t have much of a ground game and his wrestling is quite poor as well, so anytime his fights his the ground he’s in trouble. He is training at the Blackzilians so he is always rounding out his game, but at his age and with all the defensive flaws he has, he’s not a world beater by any means and against the upper echelon heavyweights he will be in trouble. But against the lower-tiered guys he’s shown he can knock them out, so depending on how Struve looks in his return to the cage he could earn the upset, but if Struve looks like he did before he got ill this is going to be a very hard matchup for Mitrione to win and that’s why he is the dog this weekend. As long as he avoids the big power shots of Mitrione, I believe Struve will be able to either pull guard or somehow wrestle Mitrione to the ground and secure a submission for the victory. I think Struve wins this fight but with all the question marks surrounding his health and the long layoff, I can’t lay the juice on Struve here even though I do favor him. If the line drops down closer to a Pick ’em I may make a play, but right now I’m passing. As for the total, it’s been set at 1.5 rounds and I favor the UNDER at -150. I don’t think this fight makes it past the first round so I do see some value in that total and think it’s probably a better bet than the moneyline on either fighter.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

WSOF 11 Opening Betting Odds

WSOF 11’s Justin Gaethje: ‘Nick Newell is no different than anybody I’ve fought’