UFC Fight Night 134 - Hamburg Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC Fight Night 134? Sunday 22nd July, 2018 - 18:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 134? Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
What channel is UFC Fight Night 134 on? BT Sport 2
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 134? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
Shogun Rua vs Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith steps in for Volkan Oezdemir who has been called up for a clash with Alexander Gustafsson instead at UFC 227 and he will be one hell of a challenge for the legend that is Maurício ‘Shogun’ Rua.
Smith has truly lived up to his nickname of ‘Lionheart’ in his UFC career and his aggressive style has created wars in the cage and this is exactly what we expect with his fight with Shogun. He looked phenomenal in his light heavyweight debut against Rashad Evans and it took him less than a minute to overpower the former champ and spark him out cold with a vicious knee in the clinch.
Despite coming towards the end of his career, Shogun is in fine fettle with three wins in a row and is hoping to emulate his knockout finish over Gian Villante in his last outing.
Both are men are knockout artists so expect them to trade from the bell. Shogun is an absolute warrior who rarely fails to succeed in stand-up battles but even though Smith has moved up from middleweight, he will have a reach and height advantage.
Although they deliver punishment, they also receive it, so their defence will be very important in deciding the victor. Smith will leave nothing behind in his search for the finish and will be a solid bet as the underdog but Shogun’s 20 knockouts speak for themselves and he is likely to add his 21st if Smith engages recklessly.
Winner: Shogun via KO/TKO
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.
Glover Teixeira vs Corey Anderson
The first casualty of the main card in Hamburg was Ilir Latifi which has led to Corey Anderson filling the void to take on another Brazilian veteran in Glover Teixeira. Another rescheduling, but thankfully we have another great fight on paper.
At the ripe old age of 38, Teixeira is still a menace and has one of the strongest skill sets in the division. He is a nasty boxer and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace. However, his new opponent is an exceptional wrestler who believes he can overpower and overwhelm the dangerous Brazilian.
They have both bounced back from devastating knockouts but they know a win is essential in maintaining their title challenging hopes – especially Teixeira. We should expect Anderson to initiate the pace with takedown attempts.
Teixeira will be confident if the fight goes to the ground but he knows the grappling will be the young American’s easiest route to victory so he will try and keep the fight standing and despite the stats, he is a better striker.
Although both men are susceptible to a knockout, they are also both more than capable of delivering one, but this fight is likely to end via a Teixeira knockout or an Anderson decision and will come down to the success of Anderson’s wrestling.
Winner: Teixeira via KO/TKO
Vitor Miranda vs Abu Azaitar
Abu Azaitar welcomes Vitor Miranda to Germany and Miranda welcomes Azaitar into the UFC. Azaitar is finally in the UFC after going unbeaten in his last nine fights although he has not fought since October 2016.
Miranda has also had a year off and is coming off two dominant decision losses to Chris Camozzi and Marvin Vettori but this is a fantastic match-up as they are both extremely talented strikers. They are both desperate to shake off any ring rust and claim a spectacular knockout.
On paper, this should be a masterclass in striking and what is often the case when two upper echelon strikers meet is that they begin rather tentatively, respecting each other’s talents. Add in the fact that they have not fought for a long time and this is Azaitar’s debut, and they may need time to settle but when they do it should be a spectacle.
Although Azaitar has been inactive, the thrill of his UFC debut should bring out the best in him, especially fighting at home in a favourable match-up.
Winner: Azaitar via Decision
Marcin Tybura vs Stefan Struve
Two big Europeans will make the short trip to Hamburg with the pressure of avoiding three straight losses. Marcin Tybura is coming off a decision to Fabrício Werdum and a TKO to Derrick Lewis whereas Stefan Struve is coming off a TKO to Alexander Volkov and a decision to Andrei Arlovski.
These losses don’t look pretty on their records but they were all against top-ten opponents so a big win at UFC Fight Night 134 will keep their stock high in the heavyweight division.
Any fight involving Struve is exciting, not only due to his dimensions but his skill set. He has a colossal reach which he uses less for his striking but more to wrap up deadly submissions. However, Tybura is no slouch on the ground and won’t be put off by the assets of the towering skyscraper.
With seven knockouts to his name, Tybura is dangerous on the feet but the fact that Struve uses his reach so poorly, it is likely we’ll the Pole close the distance and throw bombs directed towards the chin.
The fight will really depend on what Struve turns up. He shows glimpses of championship quality but often lacks a well-executed game plan and if he does not prepare well for Tybura, the Dutchman will be in for another long night.
Winner: Tybura via Decision
Nasrat Haqparast vs Marc Diakiese
This is one thrilling match-up to kick off the main card in Hamburg. Nasrat Haqparast and Marc ‘Bonecrusher’ Diakiese are two electrifying fighters and strikers who are rarely involved in a boring fight.
Haqparast lost his debut fight at UFC Fight Night 118 where Marcin Held did an excellent job in subduing his striking threat but we can’t forget he arrived to the UFC with eight straight knockouts so Diakiese is going to have his hands full.
The Bonecrusher is one of the most exciting British talents right now and is a human highlight reel. He possesses spectacular spinning techniques as well as a powerful grappling game. He has a crazy amount of potential but has stuttered in his last two fights, losing to Drakkar Klose and Dan Hooker.
Although they are both coming off losses, it is hard to see this fight being anything other than exciting. They are two aggressive strikers with dazzling technique so we expect the fans to be on the edge of their seats from the bell.
Naqparast’s stats are only based on one UFC fight but they are very evenly matched. However, Diakiese’s wrestling is underrated and will be a very valuable weapon against the German. Mixing takedowns and level-changes with his explosive striking may just give him the edge and a very valuable win.
Winner: Diakiese via KO/TKO
Danny Roberts vs David Zawada
Fight Night 134 has been laden with drop-outs with Alan Jouban being the latest casualty. However, his neck injury has given David Zawada a dream opportunity for his UFC debut on home soil.
Although he is a late replacement he will be a problem for Danny Roberts. He has won his last five fights and is a devastating striker with 11 knockouts in his 16 wins. The Englishman has a similar record but has the priceless experience of six UFC fights. He is 4-2 in the UFC and is coming off a spectacular knockout finish over Oliver Enkamp.
Zawada hasn’t had long to prepare so will surely stick to what he is best at and keep the fight standing. He will look to unsettle Roberts early with his usual forward pressing and aggressive style.
As a terrific Boxer, Roberts will welcome this approach and counter-punch with venom. Like Zawada, he has genuine knockout power and will be very confident of finding his chin – especially if Zawada attempts to recklessly walk him down in attempts to close the distance.
Roberts has to be very careful and respect the talents of Zawada. He has stepped up on late notice and he is making his debut in front of his home fans so really has nothing to lose. The German only needs a slight mistake to land his power shots and will be very dangerous.
So, an upset is more than likely but Roberts surely has too much class and is too well-rounded to slip up.
Winner: Roberts via Decision