Now that the hype of Mayweather and McGregor is over we can get back to MMA. This time the UFC retuns to the Netherlands and hometown favorite Struve faces Volkov in the main event. In the co main event Germaine de Randamie “The Iron Lady” was set to face Marion Reneau but GDR has pulled out due to injury. First she won´t fight Cyborg and now she pulls out of her fight in the Netherlands one week before the event. That after beating Holly Holm in a contraversal decision. Everyone can get hurt but this series of events is not really getting anyone interested in who is maybe the best striker in the Women´s divisons. That is ok because the main event looks great and there is also Nick Hein who is going to move down to 145 and also perma-underdog Byran Barberena fights Leon Edwards in what should be a barn burner.
Struve vs. Volkov
Volkov has looked really good in the UFC beating Tim Johnson and Roy Nelson. Both Johnson and Nelson were able to take Volkov down in the first round. Johnson only after rocking him with an uppercut. After that they had a real problem to take Volkov down. On his back Volkov showed decent defense forcing a stand up in the Nelson fight. Volkov uses crisp strikes and speed to his advantage. He weighs in at about 245 making him a smaller heavyweight. This means he most likely does not cut a lot of weight and you really saw his cardio advantage over Nelson and Johnson who both share similar body types and had similar tactics of trying to get Volkov down and going for big looping strikes. Struve is a totaly different puzzle.
Struve has gone 2-0 in his last two fights. In his last fight against Omielanczuk he showed some nice kicks and was able to defend takedowns and get some of his own. Volkov is 6,7 and Struve is “only” going to have a four inch reach advantage. I think having someone closer to his hight and reach can help him. It is easier to see the strikes coming than from someone a lot shorter like Mark Hunt. I think that both Volkov and Struve will use the first round to feel each other out and try to stay on the outside. This is a five round fight and they are also going to have that in mind. Struve is a real threat on the ground regardless if he is on top or bottom. He is also at home and won´t have to travel. I think that Struve gets this done via submission in round 3 or 4 or it goes this distance and he wins on the scorecards. My picks:
Over 1.5 – 1.62 / -160
Struve – 2.10 / +110
Byran Barberena vs Leon Edwards
These two fighters have opposite styles. Barberena comes forward and gets in your face. He is willing to get into a dog fight and wear you down by getting ugly. Edwards is much more of your technical striker. He does not waste a lot of energy when he throws and he has improved his takedown defense and submissions to make him a threat on the ground as well. Even though some might think Edwards is more of a point fighter, he has knockout power and submission skills and we know Bam Bam Barberena likes to end fights. Right now you get nice odds on the under 2.5 rounds which seems like a steal. I do not think Barberena will let Edwards just stay on the outside and pick him apart. For Edwards to win he will have to finish Barerena when he is closing the distance, and Barberena will need to get in Leon´s face. This has under written all over it and I dont understand the odds you get.
Under 2.5 3.00 / +200
Those are the only picks for now. Later in the week there should be more odds for the rest of the fights. Come back to get updates on new picks and follow me on twitter and join my telegram chat with degens talking sports betting 247.