Stefan Struve might be for real, folks.
A lot of people thought Stipe Miocic was on his way to becoming a serious contender in the heavyweight division, but Struve reminded us that at just 24 years old, he has plenty of room to grow as well.
The knockout win over Miocic made it four-straight stoppage victories for “The Skyscraper,” and he’s likely going to get a step up in competition in his next fight.
With a Fight of the Night check headed his way, Struve is in prime position to climb the heavyweight ladder and become a true title threat in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Fight of the Night: Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic
As good as Struve looked in a win, Miocic likely earned a lot of fans during his gritty performance in Nottingham.
Miocic started off strong, but as Struve started to find his range in the second rounds, things went badly for the Ohio native.
Struve landed a big right uppercut that sent Miocic reeling, and, after that, Struve was able to pick away at Miocic’s rocked state, landing a barrage of punches that almost did enough to stop the fight.
Miocic came back with a few big punches of his own, but another flurry from Struve was enough to force referee Herb Dean to stop the fight.
Both of these fighters have a bright future ahead of them, and they put on a show in their first headlining bout.
Knockout of the Night: Brad Pickett
Going into this fight, I expected a Fight of the Night contender to emerge.
Instead, Pickett decided he wanted to live up to his moniker in England.
“One Punch” was able to land a solid uppercut right on the chin of an unsuspecting Yves Jabouin, and it left the Canadian bantamweight sprawled out on the canvas.
This is a huge win for Pickett, who has rebounded from a title eliminator loss to Renan Barao with two-straight stoppage wins, and “One Punch” is suddenly back in the mix at 135 lbs.
A Top Five opponent is in order for Pickett, and a win there could land the English fighter a shot at the elusive belt.
Submission of the Night: Matt Wiman
As a fight fan, I sometimes tell myself that I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.
It’s guys like Wiman that make me eat my words.
I don’t know if anyone expected Matt Wiman to tap out submission ace Paul Sass, but that’s exactly what Wiman did when he locked in a fight-ending armbar in the first round.
The consistently underrated Wiman has now won five of his last six bouts, and with a win over a highly regarded prospect in Sass, “Handsome” may be close to breaking into the Top Ten in the lightweight rankings.