Stefan Struve took a while to get warmed up but eventually found his groove against Stipe Miocic. The Dutchman took a number of good shots in the first round from Miocic, but that all changed in the second round.
Struve hurt Miocic, but was hurt himself by a counter from Miocic when attempting to close out the fight. Struve regrouped and eventually secured the finish with a number of powerful punches and uppercuts.
What We Learned From Stefan Struve:
Struve was picked to win this fight by a majority of MMA pundits. This was the type of fight that in the past, Struve would let slip away. He'd find some way to lose and return to mediocrity in the heavyweight division.
That all changed tonight as Struve showed his maturity as a fighter, waiting to find an opening against a game Miocic. When the opening did present itself, Struve was rocked by a Miocic punch.
It was a moment we've seen before, the seven-foot Struve struggling to tuck his chin and finding himself in a world of hurt. This time however, Struve was able to regroup and reengage Miocic. Another opportunity presented itself and Struve was able to capitalize for the finish.
The win for Struve proves that his striking game is finally coming around to where he won't have to depend on pulling guard like he did against Lavar Johnson. He still needs to work on fighting like a seven-foot fighter, but it's nice to see some progress.
What We Learned From Stipe Miocic:
There's no shame in losing to a talented fighter like Struve. It was a big step up in competition for Miocic and he just simply isn't ready for the upper-tier guys in the heavyweight division.
He was able to get his striking game going in the first round, but it all fell apart in the second frame. Miocic took a number of good shots from Struve but also landed a few of his own.
Miocic will learn from this defeat and become a better fighter because of it. He doesn't have to go back to the drawing board and completely change his style, but Miocic will definitely need to work on his striking defense.