Today we take a look at the second fight on the main card from the upcoming UFC 204 fight card in Manchester, England.
The UFC don’t often come to the UK but when they do they usually bring a star studded card filled with exciting fights as well as some home grown talent.
This is surprisingly just the first pay per view event the UFC have held in the United Kingdom since November 2011 where Chris Leben headlined UFC 138 against Mark Munoz at the L.G arena in Birmingham.
In the second fight of the main card of UFC 204 we are treated to a heavyweight bout where Stefan ‘The Skyscraper” Struve looks to continue his winning ways after his spectacular 16 second knockout of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva when he faces the “Polish Bear”Daniel Omielańczuk.
Lets take a closer look at these two heavyweights.
Struve looks to maintain the momentum from one of his greatest wins in recent memory over Bigfoot and would be wise to put on a memorable performance against one of the lesser ranked opponents he’s faced in recent memory.
Struve has some obvious advantages coming into almost any fight in the heavyweight division with his 7 ft frame and 84.5 inch reach its unlikely anybody is going to match him in size any time soon. In recent times Struve has looked to fill out this exceptional attribute by adding mass using a newly found strength and conditioning coach.
When Struve first entered the UFC some people may have described his finesse of that of a infant zebra learning to walk whilst at the same time being chased by a cheater. His huge frame and gangly limbs proved ineffective in many fights due to his over eagerness to become aggressive and chase opponents causing him to crowd his own work and nullify his own reach advantages.
His fundamentals are good and whilst always sound in his offence it was his defence that has left something to desire. It’s Struve’s aggressiveness and will to rush his opponents that is his downfall.
In his fights against Antonio “Big Nog” Nogueira Struve was noticeably more active with his jab and looked to circle from the cage more frequently than in previous fights which often spelt the beginning of the end. Against Junior Dos Santos and Roy Nelson Struve was pinned against the cage with little or no head movement resulting in him being tagged repeatedly until the knockout followed.
The most concerning part of this match-up for Struve would be Omielanczuk’s tendency to look for the takedown which seemed to trouble Struve in his recent match-up against heavy wrestling based fighter Jarod Rosholt. Admittedly Omielanczuk doesn’t possess the wrestling chops that Rosholt has, it does highlight areas where Struve has struggled in the past.
STRUVES KEY TO VICTORY
Struve needs to use his obvious advantage in the reach department and keep Omielanczuk at bay with jabs, step knees and push kicks. He doesn’t want to let Omielanczuk use his speed advantage to work his way inside and start ripping shots to the head and body where Struve seems to be most vulnerable.
If he finds himself on his back as long as he’s not pressed against the cage like the Overeem fight he should find a way to use those long legs to wrap up a submission, although Omielanczuk is no slouch on the ground either.
Although not a particularly recognised name in the UFC quite yet “The Polish Bear” Omielanczuk has quietly racked up three consecutive wins in the incredibly turbulent heavyweight division after succumbing back to back losses against Jared Rosholt and Anthony Hamilton respectively.
A three fight win streak is certainly nothing to scoff at especially when you consider the UFC’s heavyweight belt has been defended a record two times in the entire history of the division.
Omielanczuk has however far from faced the upper echelon of the roster in his UFC stint with wins over 4 wins 2 losses Chris De La Rocha and 6-1 Jarjis Danho both whom are unlikely to even fight in the UFC again. Although his latest win against 61 fight veteran Oleksiy Oliynyk showed he can hang with experienced fighters snapping the Ukranian’s 10 fight win streak which included wins over Mirko ‘Cro Cop’, Jared Rosholt and Anthony Hamilton.
THE POLISH BEARS ROUTE TO VICTORY
Omielanczuk although new to the UFC roster has been fighting almost eight years now with his debut dating back to 2009 and since then racking up a whopping 26 fights. This may not seem that staggering a figure but when you factor in he has never been finished in any of his 5 losses at heavyweight that is certainly a credit to The Polish Bears durability.
Don’t expect Omielanczuk to come in overmatched because he’s facing a veteran of the octagon in Struve who has 18 fights in the UFC alone. Although Omielanczuk will certainly have to fight a patient and calculated fight as he has a tendency to force some of his more powerful shots putting himself over his own feet and losing balance. Against a rangy fighter like Struve this could certainly spell trouble.
An area where Omielanczuk is certainly overlooked is his ground game which is all too rarely seen in the ‘stand & bang’ division of the bigger boys heavyweight division. With 9 out of his 19 wins coming by way of submission Omielanczuk is certainly no stranger to submitting people when in top position, again it must be noted that the great majority of these submissions have come against fighters who are not nearly UFC calibre.
Omielanczuk really should look to work his way inside of Struve’s reach and utilise his experienced kickboxing to set up body shots and power hooks on the inside as well as using constant pressure to throw Struve off of his game in addition to setting takedowns from the clinch or body lock.
YOUBETYAH BETTING TIPS AND PREDICTIONS
As much as I enjoy seeing new blood in the seriously lacking heavyweight division a loss for Struve would do so much more damage than a win for Omielanczuk. Struve losing would put him outside the latter half of the top 15 because of the lack of name recognition Omielanczuk has.
Of course the better man wins and if “The Polish Bear” can impose his game plan upon the more experienced “Skyscraper” then all the credit in the world to him although he is facing an uphill battle both literally and figuratively. I do believe this is Struve’s fight to lose because as much as he has all the physical tools we have seen him under perform time and time again in fights he should have won.
YOUBETYAH’s pick – Struve by unanimous decision
Currently almost all of YOUBETYAH’s chosen sportsbooks currently have a Struve win at odds of +1.56
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