Read on for the UFC on FUEL TV 5 main event report...
NOTTINGHAM, September 29 - Nobody thought Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV main event at the Capital FM Arena between heavyweights Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic was going to go the distance - and they were right. It ended in the second round with a referee’s stoppage in favor of Struve, but it was a rollercoaster affair up to that point. Struve hails from Holland, home of the world’s best kickboxers, and has an enormous reach. Miocic is shorter - as everyone is next to the 7-0 tall Struve - but has a solid boxing pedigree that includes the winning of Golden Gloves titles as an amateur.
The fight got going early on but was largely in Miocic’s favor for the first frame. Struve wasn’t using his reach well and Miocic was having no trouble getting inside his range and working high-low combinations to the head and body. More than once it looked like he might be within a few punches of putting Struve down, but the tall Dutchman was always able to extricate himself and stay in the fight.
Having taken the worst of it in the first round, Struve was fired up for the second. He really started letting his hands go and paying Miocic back in full for the previous round’s punishment, with immediately effective results. Struve was letting hands and elbows fly and at one point was literally running after Miocic, who was sprinting backwards in a circle to avoid what would very probably be a fight-ending blow.
As his head cleared, Miocic re-entered the fray and the final minute of the fight saw the two exchanging heavy blows, Struve targeting the head and Miocic the body. Struve’s approach paid dividends, driving Miocic into the fence and holding him there while he let rip. Had Miocic been in the center of the Octagon he would have fallen down, but as it was he had nowhere to go and Struve’s blows were actually keeping him up. Only when referee Herb Dean intervened at the 3:50 mark was Miocic able to stagger away.
Before the fight, UFC president Dana White said that the winner would be the “top five or six heavyweight in the world” and on his way to bigger things. That honor falls to Struve and, at just 24 years old and on a four-fight win streak, the future looks bright for the Skyscraper.