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Stefan Struve vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira MMA Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/1/15

Stefan Struve (29-7) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-9-1)

MMA: Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 10:00 pm (Rio de Janeiro)

The Line: Struve -210 / Nogueira +160 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: PPV

Stefan Struve and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fight Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro.

Stefan Struve enters this fight with a 29-7 record and is winning 55 percent of his matches by submission. Struve is coming off back-to-back losses, which includes a December loss to Alistair Overeem. Struve is averaging 3.12 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 46.7 percent. Struve enters this fight as a mystery, as he hasn’t really competed since 2012. Struve has been knocked out in both of his last two fights, which includes a broken jaw in his match against Mark Hunt. When on his game, Struve is one of the better grapplers in the heavyweight class and is always dangerous when he’s on the canvas. Struve is averaging 0.53 takedowns and has an accuracy percentage of 75 percent. This will be Struve’s first time fighting in Brazil.

Stefan Struve vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira MMA Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/1/15

USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira enters this fight with a 34-9-1 record and 62 percent of his wins are by submission. Nogueira has lost four of his last six matches, which includes an April 2014 loss to Roy Nelson. Nogueira is averaging 1.87 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41.8 percent. Nogueira is averaging 1.32 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 32.6 percent. Even at 39 years old, Nogueira is one of the better grapplers in the heavyweight division and also wants a fight on the ground. In fact, Nogueira doesn’t try hard not to go to the canvas, as he’s defending just 36.3 percent of his takedowns. However, Nogueira is in poor form and I’m not sure over a year off is going to help or hurt his chances here. This will be Nogueira’s fourth time fighting in Brazil, his home country.

You’d be crazy to pick against Struve in this match. Not only is he 12 years younger, but he’s in better form and his style matches up well with Nogueira.

Even with his home country behind him and this possibly being the last fight of his career, Struve is simply the better fighter right now.

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Stefan Struve

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