Standing 6’11” with thirty professional fights to his credit it’s hard to believe heavyweight Stefan Struve is still only 23 years old, exhibiting both talent and maturity far beyond his years. The Dutchman, who celebrates his birthday this weekend, is hoping to give himself an early present tonight when he faces Dave Herman at UFC on Fuel 1.
While many fans and members of the media have shown concern about Herman’s ability to land a powerful strike on Struve’s semi-questionable chin, the “Skyscraper” is confident his game has evolved to a point he’s not overly concerned with the possibility of absorbing any significant damage.
“Herman is talented and I know I need to keep him away and stay out of the clinch although I am not frightened because of my length. He has solid power, but if I keep out of his range the fight will go my way,” said Struve in an interview with Fighters.com where he credited his earlier losses with being “learning experiences”.
As far as where he sees himself in terms of the title-picture, the winner in three of his last four fights acknowledged he still has a lot of work to do but isn’t too far from consideration.
“I see myself in the Top 10 or just outside of it I also see myself as one of the more promising fighters in the division and I plan on showing that against Herman and in the years to come,” said the animated youngster. “Right now Junior dos Santos is the top heavyweight followed by Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum, and Frank Mir. Even a guy like Roy Nelson who may not look like it, but he’s made out of steel. There are so many good fights out there for me and I look forward to what the future brings.”
You can watch Struve-Herman hook up gloves tonight on Fuel TV when the main broadcast starts at 8:00 PM EST. Prelims begin on Facebook two hours earlier. The show is headlined by welterweight contenders Diego Sanchez-Jake Ellenberger. Fans without Facebook access or simply wanting to brush up on some great fights can also watch Sanchez in some of his most-memorable scraps on Spike TV starting at 7:00 PM EST.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: I like Struve but I’m still not sure he’ll be able to fend Herman off without eating at least one solid punch (and that could be all she wrote). If he’s gotten his leg-kicks and jabs down it could be a different story but, again, I’m not confident that will be the case.