Struve may have picked up a win on Saturday night in the
UFC on Fuel TV 5 headliner, but the “Skyscraper” currently has
something far more serious on his mind.
“My dad has been dying of cancer for about two months,” Struve told
Fox Sports following his victory over Stipe
Miocic at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, England. “He’s
been in therapy for about four weeks, now. He’s doing well, but
still, it was really tough. Happily, [I will get to go see him
now]. I’ve been wanting to [see him] all week. I just feel great to
get this win. It will be good to go home and just focus on that
Struve (Pictured, file photo) managed to control his emotions
during his first round with the hard-punching Ohioan, delivering
one of his trademark slow starts. Miocic took advantage of Struve’s
lack of urgency in keeping him at range by quickly closing the
distance and continually ripping hooks to the head and body.
According to Struve, however, his conservative beginning to the
fight fell in line with his game plan. In round two, the Dutchman
looked like a completely different fighter, riffling off a steady
stream of solid jabs before buckling the American with a sharp
uppercut that put him on his bicycle midway through the frame.
Struve pursued his wounded prey, eager to finish the fight.
However, despite landed cleanly several more times, the Bob
Schrijber pupil was unable to locate Miocic’s chin. Abandoning
his attack from range, Struve began to stand in front of his hurt
opponent, a decision that allowed Miocic to fire back with heavy
hooks over the top, one of which appeared to stagger the Dutchman
momentarily. Despite this, Struve says that he was able to maintain
his composure to weather Miocic’s retaliatory efforts.
“No, [he didn’t hurt me]. I’ve just got a couple of bruises, but
I’m good. I think that people won’t discuss my jaw that much
anymore,” said Struve. “I felt his right hand wasn’t hard enough to
take me out if I just paid attention and [clenched] my jaw when he
Struve fought through Miocic’s offense and quickly went back to
work, blasting the former NCAA Division I wrestler with a combo
ending with another hard right uppercut. Smelling blood, Struve
advanced rapidly on his retreating foe, connecting with several
more clubbing uppercuts that forced referee Herb Dean to
save Miocic from further punishment.
“I saw he really slowed down in the second round, and I decided to
chase him and really start pressuring him. I rocked him a couple of
times and finished him with a good series of uppercuts,” said
Miocic. “I’m still getting better and stronger with every single
fight. There is a lot of power in my punches. Every single shot I
hit him with, I just backed him down. I felt really good. I just
need to use my reach more, but we’re working really hard on
With four straight wins under his belt, Struve is eying a bump up
in competition. Though the 24-year-old is ever-mindful that he
still has plenty of time to fulfill his potential as a mixed
martial artist, he did not mince words when asked whom he would
like to face next.
“I think I’m one or two wins away [from a title shot],” Struve
said. “I think [Fabricio] Werdum would be a great fight for me.
He’s definitely one of the best guys in the world. His Brazilian
jiu-jitsu is awesome, but I think I can compete with him on the
ground, and I think I can definitely rough him up on the feet.”