UFC 124: Stefan Struve vs. Sean McCorkle Prediction

UFC Heavyweight bout:  Stefan Struve vs. Sean McCorkle

Odds: (-135 Struve /+105 McCorkle )

Betting Pick: Struve

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The Co-Main event of the evening sees skilled Dutch grappler Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve will face off with undefeated prospect Sean “Big Sexy” McCorkle. Both of these guys are skilled and well-rounded and do their best work on the ground, so this should be an interesting stylistic matchup. Of course, Struve’s extreme height and reach make any fight he is in an interesting physical matchup as well, so this should be a compelling and competitive affair.

McCorkle, an undefeated young prospect who made a name for himself fighting on smaller shows, made a successful UFC debut a few months ago by armbarring K-1 and PRIDE veteran Mark Hunt barely a minute into the first round. McCorkle has very effective submissions, solid punching power and wrestling, and devastating ground and pound, which makes him a very dangerous fighter.

His opponent, Struve, has some extremely effective jiu-jitsu from every position and effective Muay Thai which utilizes his length and reach very well. He is not the most powerful striker, and his long frame makes his takedown defense somewhat problematic, but he is good at landing punches from range and once the fight goes to the ground he is excellent at sweeping and using his long limbs to secure submissions.

This is an interesting matchup. Both guys have good submissions, but Struve’s are probably better. On the feet, Struve has the edge in reach and technique, McCorkle has the edge in power. McCorkle is probably the better wrestler, as well, but I still think this fight favors Struve. McCorkle is going to have a hard time getting in range on the feet due to Struve’s ridiculous reach, and if he manages to take it to the ground he still has to deal with Struve’s world-class submissions. I think eventually the step up in competition is going to be too much for McCorkle to deal with, and Struve will capitalize on a mistake and submit him.

Prediction: Stefan “The Skyscraper” Struve via second round rear naked choke.

To add a little excitement on fight night, you can bet on this fight at Sportsbook.com Odds. Check out my review of Sportsbook here…