UFC Fight Night 115: Alexander Volkov vs Stefan Struve

Date: Saturday 2nd September

Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Venue: Ahoy Rotterdam

Alexander Volkov vs Stefan Struve

The tallest fight in UFC history sees Alexander ‘Drago’ Volkov, who stands at 6’7”, take on 7'0" behemoth Stefan ‘Skyscraper’ Struve. These giants will battle it out on Struve’s home soil and are fully expected to put on a show to light up the heavyweight division.

Struve is a bonus machine with one ‘Fight of the Night’, one ‘Performance of the Night’, one ‘Knockout of the Night’ and three ‘Submission of the Night’ bonuses, with his exciting scraps making him a thorough fan-favourite; he will certainly have the full support of the Rotterdam crowd.

Struve will have his hands full as the former Bellator heavyweight champion will arrive to the octagon on a four fight winning streak, including two UFC wins against heavily experienced fighters in Roy Nelson and Tim Johnson. Unusually for Volkov, he won’t have a reach advantage but he will still be confident that his seasoned striking can dismantle the skyscraper.

It will be fascinating to see how they deal with each other’s dimensions and either fighter is capable of ending the fight with their stand up weapons, but if the fight closes into grappling exchanges, you have to favour the Dutchman.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

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Marion Reneau vs Talita de Oliveira

Germaine de Randamie was originally slated to fight Reneau after relinquishing her featherweight belt and dropping down to bantamweight, but a persistent hand injury has forced her out of the fight at just a week’s notice. Gutting for both fighters as well as the fans, however, Brazilian fighter Talita de Oliveira has bravely stepped up for her UFC debut as a replacement.

Huge credit is deserved for de Oliveira with only six fights to her name as she takes on one of the most skilled and seasoned fighters in the division. Reneau is extremely well-rounded but is most dangerous on the ground with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. However, de Oliveira’s strengths also lie in her ground skills which will create a fascinating contest if Reneau decides to grapple. Reneau is also very well-versed in Muay Thai and will be confident she can end the fight on the feet, with her experience likely to aid her in dictating the fight.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

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Siyar Bahadurzada vs Rob Wilkinson

Bahadurzada was expected to face newcomer Abu Azaitar, but he pulled out and has subsequently been replaced by another newcomer in Rob Wilkinson. The Aussie is unbeaten and boasts an incredible 10 finishes out of his 11 fights so debuting against Bahadurzada will have all the fans on the edge of their seats.

The Afghan intends on finishing his fights as quickly as possible, relying on his explosive striking. This comes at a cost, however, with his cardio suffering towards the end of his fights. We could be in for an electrifying start, then, with both fighters hoping to inflict the first knock-out of their opponent’s career.

As this is Wilkinson’s debut, there are no UFC stats to go on so we have broken down both men’s finishing to give you an idea of what to expect:

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Leon Edwards vs Bryan Barberena

Residing in Birmingham, Edwards will have the support of the European fans as he attempts to register his fourth straight win, this time against American fighter Barberena.

Barberena was a hot prospect when he arrived in the UFC and caught everyone’s attention when he submitted the much-hyped Sage Northcutt. However, he has suffered a couple of hard fought decision losses since then and will hope to raise his stock again with a win over Edwards.

Edwards is a lethal striker but this won’t deter Barberena, who is deceptively lethal in his own right. With a deceiving soft physique, he lures opponents into scrappy brawls which he relishes with a substantial gas tank. However, Edwards will be prepared for this on a night where a well-executed game plan could secure the win.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

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