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Volkan Oezdemir vs. Mauricio Rua UFC Fight Night 134 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/22/18

Mauricio Rua vs. Volkan Oezdemir

UFC: Sunday, July 22, 2018 (Barclaycard Arena)

The Line: Oezdemir -350 / Rua +260 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

Volkan Oezdemir and Mauricio Rua fight Sunday during UFC Fight Night 134 at the Barclaycard Arena.

Volkan Oezdemir enters this fight with a 15-2 record and has won 73 percent of his fights by knockout. Oezdemir has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a January loss to Daniel Cormier. Oezdemir is averaging 5.91 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 47.2 percent. Oezdemir is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Oezdemir watched his five-fight winning streak come to an end when he was knocked out for the first time when he ate 84 total strikes and was taken down twice. Oezdemir lost the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, but it was his first loss in four years and he held his own for the most part. Oezdemir is a power striker with clear knockout power and a deep kickboxing background, and he has a history of being a quick worker who ends things in the first round if possible. Oezdemir simply wastes little time in the octagon, as 12 of his 15 victories have ended in the first round, and he’s seen the third round just twice in the last six years. Oezdemir hasn’t displayed much of a ground game at this stage and was taken down twice rather easily in his last fight. Proving he’s more than standup and striking is the next step for soon-to-be-29-year-old Oezdemir. This will be Oezdemir’s first career fight in Germany.

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Volkan Oezdemir vs. Mauricio Rua UFC Fight Night 134 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/22/18

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mauricio Rua enters this fight with a 24-10 record and has won 79 percent of his fights by knockout. Rua has split his last 14 fights and is coming off a March (2017) win over Gian Villante. Rua is averaging 3.75 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 51.3 percent. Rua is averaging 2.17 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 48.3 percent. It’s been over a year since we’ve seen Rua in the octagon, but he’s coming off one of his more impressive victories in which he produced a third round knockout. Rua isn’t used to taking so much time off between fights, so it will be interesting to see how much rust there is with the 36-year-old. Rua is an aggressive fighter who has very heavy hands, uses his legs well and has seen 24 of his 35 total fights end in knockout. Rua has a deep background in Muay Thai and always feels like he has the advantage standing up or in the clinch. While not a submission artist, Rua can also hold his own on the canvas and has a viscous ground and pound if he gains top position. Rua has 21 takedowns on the UFC level, and while he’s been submitted three times, he’s a rare heavyweight who is comfortable on the canvas. This will be Rua’s first career fight in Germany.

Shogun is worth a serious look with the heavy plus money here, as he’s obviously a more than proven fighter, and he’ll have a serious edge on the canvas. Both of these guys have your typical knockout power and neither has a clear size advantage over the next guy. I usually like to side with the more balanced fighter, which is Rua, who is more than willing to wrestle, and Oezdemir doesn’t enjoy leaving his feet. However, Shogun hasn’t been in the octagon in over a year and is 36 years old. That’s not a great recipe when going up against one of the best heavyweights on the planet. Rua has also shown a bit of a glass jaw at times over the years.

The price is a bit steep, but Oezdemir should win this fight.

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