• UFC Nottingham

Money riding on Struve in Nottingham

ESPN staff
September 27, 2012
Stefan Struve works out for the media during an open workout session © Getty Images

Stefan Struve plans to make his friends some serious money at UFC on Fuel 5 in Nottingham this weekend, revealing they raced to back the big Dutchman when it emerged that he was an underdog to beat Stipe Miocic.

Struve meets Miocic in a heavyweight main event with serious implications for the division. Whichever man wins will move towards the top-five in the weight class, and Miocic has been made favourite.

However, Struve is grounded in elite level kickboxing and - aided by his 6ft 11 frame - plans to establish range against the Croatian American in Nottingham. Struve saw Miocic absorb several kicks to the body in his last fight - a win against Shane Del Rosario, and he expects to be able to use Del Rosario's blueprint to succeed where the American failed.

"Stipe's got good stand-up, good wrestling, but I'll test him further," Struve told ESPN. "I'm the best fighter he's ever fought. He's 9-0 but he'll be 9-1 after the fight.

"I'm the underdog with the bookies. A couple of my friends spotted it and put some money on it - I plan to make them some good money. I'll show everybody what's up.

"He's really good when you're backing up against the cage so it's really important to keep my distance, fight at my range. If he wants to use his wrestling and take me down, good luck to him because I've got plenty waiting for him down there too.

"I'll fight my fight, I'll use my kicks to pick him apart - not many guys know how to block a kick in the UFC. I can throw kicks harder than Del Rosario, so kicks could be important in this fight."

Struve is walking into his 12th UFC bout at the age of 24, and hopes to fight on until close to his 40th birthday. And it is that experience - so rare for a man of his age - that he hopes will help him in his first main event.

"It's just another fight, yes it's a headliner, but it doesn't give me extra nerves. It's my 33rd or 34th pro fight, so it's just another step to becoming one of the best heavyweights in the world.

"I've had quite a few fights in the UK but being the headline fight for a UFC event is awesome. The place is nuts, they're always well up for a good fight and I'm coming to put on another interesting fight for the crowd."

Tickets for UFC: Nottingham are available now from www.capitalfmarena.com and www.ufc.com.

Follow Stefan on Twitter @stefanstruve, or check out his sponsors at Fearless-Fightwear and BoosterFightGear

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