This weekend UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve will headline one of the organization’s cards for the first time in his career, as the 24-year old is set to face unbeaten Stipe Miocic in the main event at UFC on Fuel 5 in Nottingham, England. However, just because his bout is scheduled for five rounds based on its status at the top of the lineup doesn’t mean Struve is expecting to fight for 25 minutes either.
“Five round fight? It’s not a five round fight. This isn’t going five. It is a one or two round fight, depending on when I finish him,” boasted Struve in an interview with the UFC. “I am not worried about going five rounds if it happens. I hit pads for an hour at a time and every Thursday at my gym it is pretty much fight night where we do 15 x five minute rounds. I’ve changed nothing in my training. If it goes longer, okay, but I think this is a quick fight.”
The 24-5 Struve has finished 22 of the opponents he’s beaten including sixteen by way of submission. While Miocic has yet to taste defeat in his career, the “Skyscraper” is confident that statistic will change on Saturday based on his continued evolution as a fighter who also happens to posses freakish size/reach.
“A win here puts me in the top five in the world. There’s a lot of hype on this guy and he’s also coming off a big win,” said Struve of the stakes. “I’m only 24 but this is my twelfth fight in the UFC. I am going to do my business on Saturday night. I’ve been in the UFC for five years and I am really putting it together now as a mixed martial artist. I think this fight is a great showcase of what I can now do as a fighter.”
Struve is currently on a three-fight winning streak with finishes of Pat Barry, Dave Herman, and Lavar Johnson. Meanwhile, the 9-0 Miocic is coming off back-to-back knockouts of Philip de Fries and Shane del Rosario in addition to having scored a decision win over Joey Beltran in his UFC debut. Interestingly enough, seven of Miocic’s victories have involved a TKO while four of Struve’s losses have come by wa of a strike-based stoppage.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC