“If you look at our records, you don’t expect a decision. I don’t expect a decision. I trained really hard for this fight; I worked on a bunch of new stuff, and I can’t wait to show it. I can’t wait to show the crowd in Japan and the entire MMA world that I truly am one of the best heavyweights in the world.”
Four years ago, Stefan Struve stepped into the Octagon for the first time, lasting just 54 seconds opposite a man who would go on to become heavyweight champion. He could have easily faded into the ether, another in the line of one-and-done competitors or fighters who enjoyed a cup of coffee in the big show but never managed to stick.
Instead, he continued to work hard after every fight, gained experience, and filled out his seven-foot frame, all with an eye on the future, confident that eventually, he would put it all together.
“If I hit someone with my jab right now, they’re really going to feel it. If you compare that to when I entered the UFC when I was 21 years old, there wasn’t nearly as much power in my shots as there is now.
“I’m not a boy among men anymore, you know? Now I’m a 265-pound, seven-foot monster.”
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