UFC on Fuel shows are meant to be more entertaining than important to the rankings, a means to expand the brand and build up-and-comers. In that sense UFC on Fuel 5 Saturday night hits the mark even if the card’s main event between Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic seems uneven. UFC on Fuel 5 takes place September 29th at the Capital Arena in Nottingham, England.
Stefan Struve seems to have too many advantages with his 7” height advantage and greater experience at 24-5 overall, 8-3 in the Octagon. From an accolades perspective Struve won “Knockout of the Night” once and “Submission of the Night” twice, his second time being his most recent victory over Lavar Johnson in May. 9-0 Stipe Miocic on the other hand is the epitome of a fast-rising star having made his UFC debut less than a year ago and already 3-0 in the Octagon and headlining this show. Attention is nothing new to Miocic who was ranked as a NCAA Division I wrestler and scouted by major league baseball before focusing on MMA. Golden Gloves champion Miocic is known for his powerful striking with his first five fights ending by KO/TKO and his KO of Phil De Fries earning him the “Knockout of the Night” bonus. Technically Miocic has one submission on his record but it was a submission to strikes, specifically to a leg kick when Miocic won the NAAFS title in June 2011. The hope and hype may be around Miocic but Struve seems to have the wider skills and a reach advantage that will be very hard to overcome.
The rest of the card is basically “England vs. the World” with fan favorites Dan Hardy, Brad Pickett, John Hathaway, Paul Saas, Che Mills, and John Maguire just from the main card. Hardy is questionable for the main card as his hype was broken in a two-year, four-loss streak that just ended with a KO of Duane Ludwig in May. Granted his defeat of Ludwig earned him “Fight of the Night”, his loss to Chris Lytle earned “Fight of the Night”, and his loss to Georges St. Pierre was a title shot but co-main event status seems to be bestowed upon Hardy by merit of where he was born. Sadollah’s entire pro career has been in the UFC from the June 2008 TUF finale through his defeat of Jorge Lopez in May so being co-main event on an “entry-level UFC” makes sense despite his 6-3 record. This fight could be interesting but unlikely to have much impact on the rankings.
Arguably the most interesting fight of this card is Brad Pickett vs. Yves Jabouin. Jabouin is on a three-fight win streak since he dropped to bantamweight while Pickett who made the switch to bantamweight two years ago has since picked up “Submission of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” in the WEC “Fight of the Night” twice in the UFC.
Prelims on Facebook:
FW: Jason Young vs.Robbie Peralta
175: DaMarques Johnson vs.Gunnar Nelson
MW: Tom Watson vs.Brad Tavares
FW: Andy Ogle vs.Akira Corassani
LHW: Kyle Kingsbury vs.Jimi Manuwa
WW: Che Mills vs.Duane Ludwig
LW: Paul Saad vs.Matt Wiman
BW: Brad Pickett vs.Yves Jabouin
WW: John Hathaway vs.John Maguire
WW: Dan Hardy vs.Amir Sadollah
HWL Stefan Struve vs.Stipe Miocic