Stefan Struve didn’t get into the trash talk prior to his UFC 124 bout with Sean McCorkle. Even when asked about it, Struve played it off and simply said he “dislikes” McCorkle, refusing to get into the mud slinging that consumes a vast majority of pre-fight hype.
He sat back and read Tweets as his opponent went on Internet tirades about Struve’s sexual preference and other things that are too sensitive to reprint.
Now, in the hours after nabbing a TKO win in Montreal, “Skyscraper” is standing tall — no, not just literally, but figuratively too. He spoke of facing an opponent that was both heavier and stronger than him, but was confident that he held the discipline and skill set to overcome anything and everything McCorkle presented to him.
Early on in their fight, it looked as though he might have been in trouble and on the verge of succumbing to a McCorkle Kimura, but Struve persevered and ultimately held off for enough time to let his opponent wear himself out.
Now with a record of 5-2 in the UFC, Stefan Struve reflects on his UFC 124 win and even explains that it was a walk in the park for him.
“It’s good to keep my face intact for once,” he said at the post-fight press conference. “My last three or four fights were wars, and I got a couple new scars from that, but it’s good to win an easy fight like that.”
While the fight stayed on the ground, it seemed as though McCorkle would punish the young Struve and make him his 11th casualty, keeping his undefeated record intact. But this was not the case on Saturday night. In fact, Struve gave McCorkle something he’s never received before in his professional fighting career — a loss.
A perfect record has been tainted, and trash talk has been met with physical opposition. That opposition, according to Struve, was cool and collective when engaging.
“I wasn’t concerned. I stayed calm and relaxed,” he said about McCorkle’s Kimura attempt. “He has to break my arm if I’m (going to) tap.
“It was no problem for me there.”
Leading into his Saturday night showdown with McCorkle, Struve told MMAWeekly.com that he sees himself somewhere in the middle of the UFC’s heavyweight rankings. One can only speculate where Struve will go now, but with a plethora of heavyweight talent in the UFC, there are nothing but options for him down the road as far as a next opponent.
While he might not be in immediate title contention, a couple more wins for the “Skyscraper” could mean being in the mix for championship hardware somewhere late in 2011 or early 2012. Only time will tell, but the sky is the limit.
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