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UFN 21 Preview: Can Roy Nelson Negate The Length Of Stefan Struve?

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Stefan Struve in coming into this fight after defeating Paul Buentello at UFC 107 late last year. In fact, Struve has won three in a row since getting stopped in the first round by Junior Dos Santos. However, we now know that Dos Santos do that to anybody. Struve's still really young at 22 years old, but there something I like about this kid. He's an accomplished grappler that stands at 6'11" tall, and isn't afraid to stand and bang it out either. On top of that, he's got a very good chin as he took several solid strikes from Paul Buentello and kept right on coming. His overall record is (19-3) with 14 wins via submission, and 3 wins via TKO/KO. He loves the rear naked choke and the triangle choke as all but two of his submission wins have come via that variety.

SBN coverage of UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi

Roy Nelson is coming into this fight after his very impressive KO win over Brendan Schuab at the TUF 10 Finale. That was Nelson's first win since dropping back to back losses to Jeff Monson and Andrei Arlovksi(not counting TUF show wins). Nelson is an accomplished grappler as well, even more decorated than Struve, receiving his blackbelt in BJJ just a few months ago. However, Nelson isn't afraid to bang it out either. He brings an overall record of (14-4) with 4 wins via submission and 7 via the TKO/KO variety.

I'm not a fan of this fight first and foremost. I think Struve is still really ‘green' if you will, and probably isn't ready to face someone with the skillset of Nelson. Although Struve will have a huge reach advantage, I have to think that Nelson will close the distance and clinch with him as he likes to do. Not to mention that Struve will likely be giving up at least 20 pounds to Nelson. If Struve can keep it on the feet, that would be his best option of winning this fight. However, Struve doesn't have big power and Nelson has a pretty good chin on him as he's only been stopped once in his entire career. Struve's not going to submit Nelson while on the ground either, unless he just happens to catch Nelson in a triangle as his length could play a small factor if this fight hits the ground. My thinking is the weight difference will be a huge factor at that point and either Nelson will win via TKO or grind out a decision