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Stefan Struve talks UFC 117 and the Heavyweight division

| August 7, 2010 | Reply

IMG 1912 edited 207x300 Stefan Struve talks UFC 117 and the Heavyweight divisionStefan Struve is one the UFC’s rising stars in the heavyweight division.  After turning pro at the age of 17, Struve stormed through his competition winning 16 of his first 18 bouts.  It was this tenacious fighting style that got him noticed, landing him in the UFC.

Although Struve lost his UFC debut to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 95, Struve then reeled off three straight victories before losing to Roy Nelson at UFC Fight Night: Florian vs Gomi.  Struve took time out of his training this week to sit down with us to discuss his upcoming fight and the heavyweight division.

What started you off in MMA?

Struve:  My brother was already fighting and there was a good gym by my house so I started training.  My brother and I watched the UFC and Pride and I liked it, so I started training.  I won a couple of fights and I liked it so I went from there.

What made you turn pro at the young age of 17?

Struve:  As an amateur it was very tough for me to get fights, not too many people wanted to fight me.  I was 6’11” and 185 lbs and most people did not want to fight me so I had no choice but to turn pro so that I could get some fights. 

How did your training camp go for this fight?

Struve:  I came to L.A. four weeks ago to train with Antoni Hardonk and finished my last four weeks of training at his gym.  I trained really hard and I feel really good.  I thought I would be done after five or six days but I have been here for four weeks now training.

Is this your first time training in the United States?

Struve: Yes it was.  I feel really good about it too.  I was able to train without any distractions and I was able to focus on training and training only.  I like it here and I hope to be coming back to L.A. later in the year.

What are your thoughts on your upcoming opponent, Christian Morecraft?

Struve: He is a very tough guy with a lot of power in his hands.  He is tall as well, like 6’6” or 6’7” tall I think so it is going to be a fun fight for sure.

What is your prediction for the fight? 

Struve:  It is going to be a win for me.  I am going for a finish, a knockout.  I do not like going to a decision so I am going to finish him.  My only decision was Buentello and I did not like that.

Since this is fight week for you what are you doing to stay mentally and physically prepared?

Struve: I flew into Oakland from L.A. yesterday and I went to San Francisco.  I went to the Bay Bridge and I was able to see Alcatraz in the distance and then I walked around the city.  My trainers are flying in today from Holland so I will be training tonight and tomorrow.  Then I am just going to hang out and do my thing.  I like to have a little distraction from the fight.

What do you do to stay calm when you are waiting for your fight to be called?

Struve: I am used to it now.  For me, this is business, this fighting and I am ready.  I train and fight every day, the only difference is this time it is without the protection and it is in the Octagon and I get paid for it. 

After your fight Saturday how quickly do you want to get back in the cage?

Struve: Before I signed with the UFC I would fight 7, 8 and even 9 times a year and that is fine with me.  Hopefully I can fight in November on the main card so we will see.

Give me your thoughts on the heavyweight division and where do you fit in?

Struve: Right now the heavyweight division is really good.  There are a lot of big guys in there with a lot of power.  There are a lot of tough guys.  I feel pretty good.  Obviously my last fight sucked, it happens, I am 22 years old and that was just a bump in the road on my way to bigger things.  I feel that I learned a lot while I was in L.A. and I look to grow.  I am only 22 years old fighting the best guys in the world and I look to be able to be the best in the next 5 or 6 years.

If you could fight anybody in any weight class who would it be and why?

Struve: I have always liked Fedor and Nogueira.  They are my favorite fighters and I always like to watch them so it would be an honor to fight them.

What are your plans after Saturday?

Struve:  I am going to celebrate a little here but not too long because I am going back to Holland on Sunday.  I have a long flight and when I get home I am going to have to get a little bit of sleep. Then I am going to have a party.

At the age of 22, Stefan Struve is one of the youngest talents in the UFC.  As he continues to grow and gets the weight to go behind his 6’11” frame, Struve will be a force in the UFC’s heavyweight division.  It will be interesting to watch Struve evolve over the next few years and truly become one of the world’s elite fighters.

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Tags: Christian Morecraft, Heavyweight, interviews, MMA, Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve, UFC, UFC 117

Category: Interview, MMA, UFC

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