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Stefan Struve vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima - 2/23/19 UFC Fight Night 145 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Stefan Struve vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Date & Time Saturday February 23, 2019, 4:30 PM (EST)
Location
O2 Arena
Prague, Czech Republic
The Line
The Line: de Lima -144 / Struve +116 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
ESPN+
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Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Stefan Struve and Marcos Rogerio de Lima fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 145 at the O2 Arena.

Stefan Struve enters this fight with a 28-11 record and has won 63 percent of his fights by submission. Struve has lost six of his last nine fights and is coming off a July loss to Marcin Tybura. Struve is averaging 3.14 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Struve is averaging 0.54 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Struve is getting desperate for a win, as he’s lost each of his last three fights and has only been on the winning side three times since getting knocked out by Mark Hunt in 2013. There’s some reason for concern and there should be a lot of attention to detail from Struve’s camp in hopes of snapping the streak. The good news is Struve is still an intimidating fighter at 7’0” with an 84-inch reach, and that makes him a nightmare matchup for any opponent in any division. Struve has a kickboxing background and lands 83 percent of his stakes standing up, and while he’s capable of knockouts, he’s a rare heavyweight who is comfortable on the canvas and actually has 17 career submission victories. Struve controls most of his fights with his size alone, but his big frame also means there’s a lot to hit, and it’s the reason he’s been knocked out seven times in his career. This will be Struve’s first career fight in the Czech Republic.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima enters this fight with a 16-6-1 record and is winning 79 percent of his fights by knockout. Lima has split his last six fights and is coming off a November win over Adam Wieczorek. Lima is averaging 3.36 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 54 percent. Lima is averaging 1.28 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 60 percent. Lima won his only bout last year when he returned to heavyweight, and he now hopes to win back-to-back fights for the first time since 2014. Lima has a skill set of a traditional power heavyweight with serious striking power and a vicious ground and pound. Five of Lima’s last seven victories have come by knockout, and he’s a tough guy to stop once he starts mixing in those combinations. I’m not sure there’s much upside left with Silva approaching 34 years old, but he’s better than his record indicates due to his striking ability. The downside is Lima wears down rather quickly and his ground game is extremely shaky, as he rarely puts his grappling to the test, and he’s been submitted four times in his career if you want to include his performance in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 semifinal. This will be Lima’s first career fight in the Czech Republic.

Struve has a size advantage over everybody he fights, but this is quite overwhelming, as he has a seven-inch reach advantage over Lima and is nearly a foot taller as well. Struve is also a true heavyweight, while you can argue Lima is a middleweight or light heavyweight. Those two areas alone have you questioning if Lima can hold up here. Also, Lima has yet to show he’s comfortable on the canvas, which is scary considering it’s where Struve makes his money when he’s fighting at the top of his game. Struve isn’t the fighter you want to tap into your wrestling bag when you’re not 100 percent confident in it to begin with.

I’ll be updating this once odds are released and see if the prices change my mind, but I don’t feel good about Lima’s chances in this fight at all. Even on a three-fight losing streak, this is a matchup Struve should feel really good about.

Update: The fact we're getting plus money with Struve makes me like him even more.

Pick:
Stefan Struve +116

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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