UFC 146 Results: 5 Fights for Stefan Struve to Take Next
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 26: Stefan Struve (L) reacts to being declared the winner in his fighta gainst Lavar Johnson (R) during a heavyweight bout at UFC 146 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 26, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Stefan Struve had an excellent showing at UFC 146, submitting dangerous brawler Lavar Johnson in the first round.
It was a smart and calculated performance from Struve, pulling guard and locking up an armbar early in the fight. The young Dutchman is known for his reckless style of fighting, so it was nice to see him put on such a tactful performance.
With the win, Struve has won three straight and is starting to pick up some momentum in the heavyweight division.
Here are five fights for Struve to take next.
Photo courtesy of fight.tv
Stipe Miocic and Struve were both victorious at UFC 146 and are beginning to make names for themselves at heavyweight. So, matching them up next would make sense.
It would be a risky fight for Struve, though. Miocic is ranked below him, so a loss would look bad.
However, Miocic being ranked lower does not mean he will be an easy fight. The NCAA Division I wrestler is dangerous on the feet, and, on the ground, and he's one of the best prospects in the division.
Mark Hunt was supposed to be Struve's opponent at UFC 146, but he had to withdraw due to injury.
Why not set up the fight again?
Both men are exciting fighters, and the bout still makes sense, rankings-wise.
Photo courtesy of fiveouncesofpain.com
Now that he has a three-fight winning streak going, Struve should be hoping for the UFC to give him a step up in competition.
Loser of Cheick Kongo vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Photo courtesy of sportsnet.ca
Kongo and Nogueira have name value that makes them worth fighting, and each poses an interesting challenge for Struve.
Against Kongo, Struve would get to test his striking against an elite kickboxer.
Against Nogueira, Struve would get to test his ground game against one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in MMA history.
Photo courtesy of cagepotato.com
Shane Carwin would be the best possible fight for Struve.
Carwin is still considered by some to be a top five heavyweight, but he's also coming off two losses and has been out of action for almost a year.
When Carwin comes back, it likely won't be against a top contender—he'll need a tune-up fight.
That's where Struve comes into play.
If he loses, it's not a huge deal. Carwin is ranked above him in the division, and, with his current winning streak, Struve can afford a loss.
If he wins, the benefits are huge. Beating Carwin would really boost Struve's stock.
Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a stand-up comedian. Check him out on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.