This Wednesday, Feb. 15, the UFC expands their programming on FUEL with the first UFC on FUEL TV, featuring Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger.
But first, in the co-main event of the evening, Dave Herman returns to the Octagon following his successful debut against John-Olav Einemo. Herman was set to face Mike Russow at UFC 136, but the fight was cancelled after Herman failed a preliminary drug test, having tested positive for marijuana.
Now, Herman faces Stefan Struve, who is coming off of a submission victory over Pat Barry at UFC on Versus 6. Struve, 6-3 in the UFC, is looking to continue his path to the top of the heavyweight division.
So, what will happen when the big boys go toe-to-toe? Let's take it point by point...
Neither man is one to shy away from a slugfest, though Herman's 15 knockouts and only one knockout loss are hard to ignore when compared to Struve's five knockouts and four knockout losses.
Should Herman find his way to Struve's chin, it could be a quick night for the Dutchman, though Herman will have to contend with something that few men hold over him: Struve's seven-inch height and reach advantage.
Struve's best chance at winning the standup fight is to keep Herman on the outside, pick him apart with shots and not allow him to get inside and trade shot-for-shot.
However, Struve hasn't historically shown a good ability to utilize his jab and keep his opponent from getting to his chin. I don't expect this fight to be any different and think Herman will be able to land on Struve with power, though he may eat a few shots on the way.
The exact opposite of their striking successes, Struve has 15 submission victories to Herman's five. Utilizing his long limbs, Struve has earned a majority of his submission wins via triangle choke. He doesn't often look for takedowns, but, if planted on his back, Struve's guard is a dangerous place to play.
Herman is no slouch when it comes to grappling, training as he does with all of the notable wrestlers at Team Quest. But knowing Struve is dangerous on the ground, Herman won't likely look to shoot for takedowns. He'll also have to keep Struve from grabbing a hold of him and pulling guard or taking his back, though that shouldn't pose much of a problem.
Ultimately, Struve poses the larger threat on the ground, and his heavily guard-based submission game will likely be enough to keep Herman from engaging in a prolonged ground battle.
In my opinion, this is a much more even category than the others. Both Struve and Herman are very durable and can take a lot of damage.
As demonstrated against Christian Morecraft, Struve is able to take a round-long beating and come back hard to get a win. Similarly, Herman showed a sizable heart against Einemo, recovering from a big knee to finish Einemo.
It's hard to say which fighter can ultimately take more damage. But, given Herman's punching power, I don't like Struve's chances should the two decide to get into an iron-chin competition.
This should be an exciting, tough fight, with each fighter capable of stopping of the fight anywhere. When all is said and done, I think Herman's power and toughness will shine through. If he can get inside of Struve's reach and defend against any submissions Struve throws up, I like him to get a second- or third-round stoppage.
Pick: Herman by KO