Until Saturday, each time Stefan Struve took a step up in competition, he was sent thudding back to reality. He made another grab for the elite level Saturday and, this time, passed the test in a big way.

Struve took over his fight against unbeaten Stipe Miocic with his jab. And he finished it in a violent and ruthless manner, landing a pair of straight rights and a crushing uppercut that sent Miocic staggering away.

That was all referee Herb Dean needed to see, as he jumped in to stop it at 3:50 of the second round at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, England.

Struve was knocked out in less than a minute by future heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in his UFC debut in 2009. He was KO’d by Roy Nelson in 2010 and by Travis Browne last year.

He now appears to be a different fighter and has won four in a row.

Struve took the best that Miocic could give in a highly entertaining first, but managed to take it and keep coming. Once he got untracked, it was no contest.

"I heard complaints about my power in the past, but I think this might change some opinions now," Struve said of his finish of Miocic.

[Related: Fan recaps all of the action from UFC on Fuel 5]

Miocic had a good first round, circling the cage and ripping combinations that cleanly landed, many to the midsection of the 7-footer.

Struve seemed to have difficulty getting his distance correct, but he made an adjustment in the second. His jab was clearly bothering Miocic, and as his opponent tied to slip underneath it, Struve made him pay by blistering him with an uppercut.

"The uppercut is my favorite," Struve said.

And it was the uppercut that helped him get the victory, his sixth win in his last seven fights.

He was regularly hurting Miocic in the second, but when he landed a clean straight right near the cage, it was obvious the end was near.

Struve fired off two straight rights to the head, and then came back with a pair of uppercuts to show the finishing ability that UFC president Dana White loves.

"I really wanted to finish," Struve said. "I knew I had him rocked and I'm going in for the kill when I have someone rocked."

[Related: Fox provides perfect vehicle for UFC’s younger fighters]

In the co-main event, hometown hero Dan Hardy put on perhaps the best performance of his career in scoring a unanimous decision over Amir Sadollah. Hardy won by scores of 29-28 twice and 30-27 after showing vastly improved wrestling.

Bantamweight Brad Pickett had the punch of the night, a right uppercut that put Yves Jabouin to sleep at 3:40 of the first round.

Matt Wiman handed submission specialist Paul Sass his first defeat, catching Sass in an arm bar and forcing the tap at 3:48 of the first. It was a sensational fight in which the two traded submission attempts before Wiman got the finish.

John Hathaway outworked John Maguire to win a welterweight match via unanimous decision.

In the main card's opener, Che Mills repeatedly took Duane Ludwig to the ground and pounded the American with punches and elbows, until Ludwig injured his left knee and verbally submitted.

As the fighters were going to the canvas again, Ludwig immediately pointed to his left knee and submitted at 2:28 of the first. He was able to get up with assistance, but was clearly having difficulty with it.

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Video: AL and NL MVP picks
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley tie Ryder Cup record with lopsided victory
NFL referees overwhelmingly approve new contract
Y! TV: These new fall shows probably won't make the cut

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Fabricio Werdum hopes to shock the world %26#x2026; again (Yahoo Sports)

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

The interim heavyweight champ is a 5-1 underdog against Cain Velasquez, but that's a position he's won from before. read news >>

Andrei Arlovski or Stipe Miocic: Who Should Get the Next Heavyweight Title Shot?

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

The heavyweight division is a dangerous land these days. Supercharged with explosive knockout artists, high-octane pressure cookers and some of the last legends of the sport, the weight class doesn't read news >>

Gilbert Melendez may be a veteran fighter, but he%26#x2019;s far from finished (Yahoo Sports)

  • 20 days ago
  • 0 views

From Yahoo Sports: Melendez, 33, takes on Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188 on Saturday to prove he’s still got it. read news >>

Stipe Miocic happy with Reebok deal, feels he's the best in the heavyweight division

  • 20 days ago
  • 6 views

UFC heavyweight contender Stipe Miocic briefly touches on the UFC's Reebok deal and explains why he feels he's the best heavyweight in the world. Since joining forces with the UFC in 2010, Stipe Mioc read news >>

Gilbert Melendez may be a veteran fighter, but he%26#x2019;s far from finished (Yahoo Sports)

  • 20 days ago
  • 0 views

From Yahoo Sports: Melendez, 33, takes on Eddie Alvarez at UFC 188 on Saturday to prove he’s still got it. read news >>

Cain Velasquez could be the UFC's greatest %26#x2026; could be (Yahoo Sports)

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 views

The 32-year-old has established himself as a brilliant heavyweight, when he's healthy, and that's the problem. read news >>

Cain Velasquez could be the UFC's greatest %26#x2026; could be (Yahoo Sports)

  • 21 days ago
  • 0 views

The 32-year-old has established himself as a brilliant heavyweight, when he's healthy, and that's the problem. read news >>

Dan Henderson's age, sudden losing putting his UFC career in jeopardy (Yahoo Sports)

  • 25 days ago
  • 4 views

From Yahoo Sports: Henderson may not be mulling retirement, but his future could be decided for him if he continues to suffer defeats. read news >>

Dan Henderson's age, sudden losing putting his UFC career in jeopardy (Yahoo Sports)

  • 25 days ago
  • 4 views

From Yahoo Sports: Henderson may not be mulling retirement, but his future could be decided for him if he continues to suffer defeats. read news >>

UFC hires USADA to employ 'best anti-doping policy in sports' (Yahoo Sports)

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

From Yahoo Sports: Starting July 1, USADA will have the authority to test any UFC fighter at any time for any reason. read news >>