As you likely know, Struve has been sidelined for quite some time, after he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition last year. After undergoing treatment for the condition, Struve was booked to fight Matt Mitrione this past July, but the massive heavyweight had a feinting spell and the fight was ditched.
Well, now Struve will take on his fellow countryman in Overeem, who has been struggling and then some in recent months. While discussing Saturday’s bout with UFC.com, here is some of what Struve had to say about facing the decorated heavyweight.
“I got another shot and I didn’t care who it was,” Struve said. “Look at my last two opponents; (Stipe) Miocic is fighting for a title shot (against Junior Dos Santos) and (Mark) Hunt just got his shot. In my opinion, I should have won both of those fights. The Hunt fight didn’t go my way because physically there was something very wrong with me at that point, so this is where I should be. Alistair has gone through some adversity in his career. He lost three of his last four fights by knockout, but obviously he’s a big name, and he’s a very good opponent, but I’m better. It’s simple as that. I’m better, I’ve got more potential and I did everything I could possibly do to prepare myself for this fight, so I know if I fight my fight, I’m gonna win.”
Yes, it is worth noting that Struve stopped Miocic in September, 2012, while the 7’0 tall fighter was busy putting together a four fight win streak. If not for his stoppage loss to Hunt last March, and the setback due to his heart condition, Struve would likely be a top 10 ranked heavyweight right now (he’s currently positioned at #15).
The only other men who have defeated Struve in 13 UFC fights are former champ Junior dos Santos and Roy Nelson.
So, in other words, if Overeem can in fact take out Struve in 30 seconds or less, like he’s predicted, it would be one notable accomplishment for the “Reem.” If you’re wondering, the betting lines have Overeem as the favourite in the -235 to -300 range.
UFC on FOX 13 will be hosted by the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.