At just 24 years of age, Stefan Struve has more fights in the UFC than the total number of bouts his next opponent has had in his entire career.
Struve started fighting at a young age and now as he enters his 12th fight in the UFC and 30th professional fight overall, he’s stepping into a main event where his bout will cap off the UFC on Fuel 5 event in England this weekend.
Facing 9-0 prospect Stipe Miocic in the headline fight, Struve knows that this is his chance to show the world what he’s all about, and he wants to make a statement to the rest of the heavyweight division along the way.
“I think winning a main event is something that gets you the exposure. A lot of people will be watching it, and you’ll be the headline on every single MMA news site. You’ll be the headline because you’re the main event, so getting a win in a show like that is really important for your career,” Struve told MMAWeekly Radio before traveling to England.
Since his first day in the UFC, Struve has faced some of the stiffest competition the heavyweight division could throw at him. Of course he’s dealt with some losses, but his ability to bounce back has put him on a recent three fight win streak as he heads into his next fight against Miocic in England.
Facing that adversity in big fight situations is something Struve believes makes him a better fighter, and gives him a huge advantage over Miocic because he doesn’t believe his next opponent has ever faced anything like that in his career, much less in the UFC.
“It’s a big step up to be main event, he’s only had 9 fights so far. He’s definitely got the skill, although I think this is a huge step up in competition for him,” said Struve.
“He hasn’t faced a guy who is nearly as good as me on the ground in my opinion and my striking’s been coming together, especially in the last year.”
Struve knows that Miocic is a tough fighter with legitimate skills in the cage, but he’s not sure the Ohio native has enough experience to get him through the tough spots like what he’ll face at UFC on Fuel 5.
“It’s a huge advantage all the experience I got, and for him like I said, this is a big step up in competition for him. This is the first time it really happened to him. He took a fight on short notice the last time when he fought Shane Del Rosario, but that wasn’t a big step up in competition from his last couple fights,” said Struve.
“I’ve come back from adversity and I’ve pretty much seen it all, and done it all, so I know whatever happens in there, I’m ready for it and I’ll fight my way through it.”
Struve will try to make it a four fight win streak at the expense of Miocic’s first professional loss when he faces him in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 5 this weekend from Nottingham, England.
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