Stipe Miocic had a tall task ahead of him when facing Stefan Struve. Miocic had won nine-straight bouts to begin his pro career but had yet to face a fighter as talented as Struve.
The loss to Struve only validated the thought that Miocic isn't ready for that level of competition which is fine. He's still new to the MMA game and has room to grow as a fighter. It's not as if this was his last hoorah or anything. Losing to a guy like Struve is nothing to be shameful about, but Miocic must learn from this loss.
He has to mix up his attacks in future bouts. The straight up boxing approach isn't going to get it done against upper tier opponents. Only Junior dos Santos, who can crush a man's soul with a single punch, can get away with simply using his boxing.
After the first round, Miocic was unable to get any offense going outside of a desperation right hand that was preceded by a hard strike from Struve. If Miocic wants to rise up the rankings once more, he will need to add some takedowns or use leg kicks (like he did in the opening frame).
We know Miocic has a solid wrestling pedigree, so developing his ground game shouldn't be a concern moving forward. By using takedowns, Miocic will not only score points on the judge's scorecards but also will cause opponents to drop their hands—allowing Miocic to land those power punches he loves to throw.
Miocic also has a number of physical gifts that should help him rebound from the loss. He stands at 6'4" and is a muscular 240 pounds. He's also an athletic heavyweight, evident from his previous stint as a collegiate baseball player.
The Ohio-native has a number of options moving forward after the loss. A bout against another athletic heavyweight prospect in Shawn Jordan would be a good "gut check" test for both fighters. Bouts against Pat Barry or Mike Russow would also be logical and entertaining.
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