Stefan Struve has had his share of rocky moments throughout his MMA career, but he made a solid statement at "UFC on Fuel TV 5," knocking out Stipe Miocic during the second round of their fight.
Struve struggled a bit during the first round of his encounter against Miocic, but he made the necessary adjustments in the second round. He started taking advantage of his reach, keeping Miocic at bay with his jab. Struve also used his jab to set up his uppercut, and that ended up being his money-maker. He hurt Miocic with a few uppercuts before finishing him off against the cage.
With his performance against Miocic, it's safe to say that Stefan Struve is no longer the same guy who was knocked out by Junior dos Santos, Roy Nelson, and Travis Browne. He's finished a respectable list of opponents in his last four outings, and the seven-footer is finally starting to find his groove.
Struve certainly proved that he's a legitimate heavyweight with his performance at UFC on Fuel TV 5, but he'll still need to put a few more wins together before he becomes a legitimate contender. Stefan indicated that he would like to fight Fabricio Werdum in his next outing, and it sounds like a good matchup for the 24 year-old.
"Werdum would be an awesome fight for me next," Struve said during the post-fight press conference. "I think I can cope with him on the ground, and I think I can rough him up on the feet."
Werdum is clearly a top heavyweight, and a win against him would prove once and for all that Struve deserves to be in the title picture.
Even though Stefan Struve still has a long way to go in terms of mastering how to use his length, I do like the direction he's moving in. He's still a very young fighter, and he does have the potential to be a UFC champion someday.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.