Heavyweight veterans, Stefan Struve and Jared Rosholt, kicked off the UFC 193 pay-per-view (PPV) main card tonight (Sat., Nov. 14, 2015) from inside Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
And it was another impressive performance from the three-time collegiate wrestling champion out of Oklahoma State University (OSU), Rosholt, who was able to takedown the towering Dutchman just enough en route to a very lackluster unanimous decision win.
As both fighters came out to touch gloves, the size difference was comical ... as is always the case in matches that involve "Skyscraper." Not much transpired in the first two minutes as Rosholt and Struve looked to gauge distance and not rush into anything to quick. The crowd soon became restless, prompting Struve to pick up the pace. But, as attempted a leg kick, Rosholt was able to secure a relatively easy takedown and he began to work some ground and pound.
Struve kept him at bay with his ridiculously long legs, trapping Rosholt's knee and briefly preventing him from advancing to side control. Struve was able to buck off Rosholt, but ha landed in side control once again as a rather uneventful first round came to a close.
Struve came out for round two with a purpose, flinging a right hand into Rosholt's left ear. Rosholt fired back with a leg kick and then a single-leg takedown attempt that pushed bother fighters up against the cage. Struve was eventually able to defend it and then went right back to pressuring Rosholt with the stand up.
That turned out to be a mistake as Rosholt backed in to secure a trip and then another takedown moments later as Struve scrambled to his feet. Once again in side control, Rosholt was once again unable to really inflict any significant damage. Struve actually landed a very solid upkick as Rosholt settled into has guard, seemingly taking a rest as referee Herb Dean warns him to "work."
Rosholt lapsed and Struve took advantage, switching position on the ground and attempting an armbar submission that never materialized as the second stanza came to a close.
In the third and final frame, Struve once again came out aggressive, landing several effective jabs early that put Rosholt on the run. Struve landed another nice leg kick, compelling Rosholt to hunt for another takedown, but he just could not muster the energy to complete it.
Struve connected on a high kick, but there didn't appear to be much behind it. With two minutes remaining, it was clear that Rosholt didn't have much left in the tank. Struve backed him up against the cage and Rosholt stumbled, but as he was returning to his feet Struve drilled him with a knee and a hard cross. In the scramble, Rosholt was able to secure another takedown, but he was unable to keep him on the ground.
With 20 seconds remaining, Struve actually score a takedown of his own to the roar of about 40,000 unimpressed "boos." Indeed, it was not a very good fight, with Struve unable to put together anything significant while vertical and Rosholt not being able to do very much with his numerous takedowns.
In the end, Rosholt earned a unanimous decision -- his fourth straight win inside the Octagon -- but certainly not his most impressive.