Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski UFC 222 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 3/3/18
Arlovski vs. Struve
UFC: Saturday, March 3, 2018 (T-Mobile Arena)
The Line: Struve -260 / Arlovski +200 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Stefan Struve and Andrei Arlovski fight Saturday during UFC 222 at the T-Mobile Arena.
Stefan Struve enters this fight with a 32-9 record and has won 53 percent of his fights by submission. Struve has split last eight fights and is coming off a September loss to Alexander Volkov. Struve is averaging 3.36 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 46.2 percent. Struve is averaging 0.67 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 66.6 percent. Struve is coming off a third round knockout loss that earned fight of the night, and he hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for just the second time in his career. Struve is always a tough matchup for opponents due to his 7’0” frame and 84 inch reach, and that length helps him with his striking accuracy and has led to eight knockout victories for his career. Struve is also a polished wrestler who can become overwhelming on the canvas and has a variety of submission moves that he’s quick to unleash. With a kickboxing background, you don’t see fighters this large, long and athletic as Struve is in the octagon. The downside with Struve has his suspect chin, as he has been knocked out in seven of his nine losses, which includes three knockout losses in his last seven fights. This will be Struve’s fourth career fight in Las Vegas.
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Andrei Arlovski enters this fight with a 26-15 record and has won 65 percent of his fights by knockout. Arlovski has lost four of his last five fights and is coming off a November win over Junior Albini. Arlovski is averaging 3.24 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42.5 percent. Arlovski is averaging 0.33 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33.3 percent. Arlovski got a much needed victory that snapped a five-fight losing streak, and he now looks for back-to-back victories for the first time since 2015. Arlovski showed there’s still something left in the tank by landing over 100 strikes and going the distance with a tough fighter who is over a decade younger. When in good form, Arlovski is a terrific striker who lands extremely powerful punches and has produced 17 career knockouts. Arlovski will always have a chance given his power shots, and he’s a polished grappler who does a good job of controlling the octagon and pressuring his opponent. The downside is that Arlovski isn’t getting any younger at 39 years old and we’ve seen him get knocked out in 10 of his 15 career losses. This will be Arlovski’s eighth career fight in Las Vegas.
This is a fight that’s a coin flip in my eyes, as both are in shaky form overall and both have subpar chins that have seen these guys get knocked out a combined 17 times. The difference for me is that Struve has a seven inch reach advantage, is eight inches taller and much younger than Arlovski. That ridiculous size and length advantages should give him a massive advantage and somewhat limit Arlovski’s biggest strength, his striking ability. I also find it hard to trust an aging fighter in Arlovski, who has lost five of his last six bouts and looked sloppy more times than not. This is a fight that Struve should be able to control by cutting off the octagon and get the victory.
I like the Skyscraper to be on the winning side here.