UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve is 9-3 inside the Octagon and on a four-fight run with all of the wins featuring some form of finish. However, fans’ focus seems to squarely be on Struve’s durability as it relates to his trio of strike-based stumbles rather than the tremendous skill the 25-year old has shown thus far in a still-blossoming career.
With another cement-fisted slugger on deck in the form of Mark Hunt tomorrow night at UFC on Fuel 8, Struve is once again answering questions about his chin, telling MMAFighting he could care less about the criticism considering the progress he’s made since debuting days after his 21st birthday against former champion Junior dos Santos.
“I hear before all my fights that I’m not the favorite,” acknowledged Struve. “I read my Twitter to be in touch with my fans, and I get a lot of people saying, ‘He’s going to put you in a lawn chair,’ and whatever. ‘He’s going to knock your head into the third row.’ So was Pat Barry, so was Dave Herman. So was Lavar Johnson, and so was Stipe Miocic.”
“People keep saying I’m going to get knocked out, and whatever, but I don’t care about it. I keep on showing that big strikers are not a problem anymore. They may have been at the beginning of my career, but not anymore,” he continued. “If this fight stays on the feet, and I fight smart, then it’s my fight to win. And I have a good chance to knock Mark out.”
If Struve is indeed successful this weekend, the seven-foot “Skyscraper” plans to turns his attention towards a title-shot and rightfully so too considering his recent success.
“When I win this fight, and I finish this fight yet again, then I’m on a five-fight win streak with five finishes in the heavyweight division,” the confident Dutchman explained. “Nobody else in the heavyweight division is on a five-fight win streak. I think I have a pretty strong bid to call myself #1 contender.”
Struve is 25-5 in his career with consecutive wins over the aforementioned Barry, Herman, Johnson, and Miocic. All but one of his victories under the UFC’s banner have involved a TKO/submission.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC