UFC heavyweight contender Stefan Struve has an opponent in mind for his next bout, and the young buck is hoping to take out one of the most accomplished veterans in his weight class.
Struve (25-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) wants a fight with former PRIDE champion and ex-UFC titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-8-1 MMA, 5-4 UFC).
As he wrote on Twitter: “Bigger they are, harder they fall huh @Minotauromma , lets back those words up and sign the contract, I’m waiting for you.”
Struve first discussed the idea with Bleacher Report‘s Damon Martin earlier this week. He said the matchup makes sense “since we’re both coming off a loss.”
Struve is ranked No. 11 and Nogueira is No. 14 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA heavyweight rankings.
Struve most recently suffered a broken jaw in a loss to Mark Hunt at UFC on FUEL TV 8. That defeat snapped the 7-footer’s four-fight win streak that him nearing title contention.
The Dutchman could add a signature win to his resume with a victory over Nogueira, who recently suffered a submission loss to Fabricio Werdum at UFC on FUEL TV 10 following their head-coaching gigs on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2.” Nogueira suffered a ligament damage in his arm and underwent surgery. He’s expected to be out of action until later this year, though Struve is willing to wait for him.
Struve, 25, grew up watching PRIDE events that prominently featured the 37-year-old Nogueira, who hasn’t won back-to-back fights in more than three years. However, nearly all of the Brazilian’s recent fights came against top-level competition.
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(Pictured: Stefan Struve)