Stefan Struve said he’s looking to take Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira out in the opening round at UFC 190, but according to the legend, the “Skyscraper’s” going to have to deal with some new weapons…
Struve and Nogueira are booked to fight on August 1st, which will mark the first time “Big Nog” has fought since April, 2014, when he was KO’d by Roy Nelson. Recently Struve credited Nogueira for being an “amazing fighter”, but also said he’s hoping to make short work of the star (as a means of showing he’s “back”). Struve is coming off a first round, stoppage loss to Alistair Overeem in December, after he was sidelined for much of the year with a rare heart condition.
“It won’t be easy to take him to the ground. He is training a lot of takedown defense, so this fight could unfold completely standing up. My goal is to explore his weaknesses. I have to escape his range and avoid his knees. He also has a good jab and moves his head well. I think the best strategy for me would be to close the distance and work on strikes on the inside. But I have three submissions and three takedowns up my sleeve. I’ve been drilling them until they become second nature.”
It’s going to be a nail biting, edge of their seat kind of night for Nogueira fans, as the 7’0 tall Struve poses plenty of challenges. Of course there’s his reach, but Struve is also dangerous of his back.
That said, considering Nogueira’s ground skills, one would think if he gets the fight to the mat, he’ll be in good position to win the fight. Nogueira also has some pretty dangerous hands, hence the work from the inside comment, but can he get there? That’s the big question.
Nogueira has said he wants to fight a couple more times, but if he gets stopped at UFC 190, will he be back for another bout?
The August 1st card will be headlined by a bantamweight fight between champion Ronda Rousey and Bethe Correia.