An MMABurner exclusive.
Undefeated and with three recent wins in the UFC, Stipe Miocic (9-0) will be headlining UFC on Fuel TV 5 on September 29 in Nottingham, England against Stefan Struve (25-4) who is also on a three fight win streak in the promotion. “I’m excited,” said Stipe. “It’s a great opportunity, you know? The name of the game is to keep winning.”
Stefan Struve is aptly nicknamed “The Skyscraper” for his record breaking height in MMA. At 6’ 11’’ he is simply the tallest man in the sport, creating a difficult style for his opponents to emulate in training. “I’ve got good guys around me and they helped me prepare for this fight,” said Stipe. “The big guys that train with me are 6’4’’ 6’5’’ but I did train with Tim Sylvia for about two weeks.”
For a while Struve seemed to brawl with anyone who was up for it. Yet with his impressive ground game at his disposal and the apparent ability to stick closer to a game plan, he has been taking down and submitting some of the most dangerous strikers in the game lately. “He’s good at every aspect of the game,” said Stipe. “I’m not in his head so I don’t know what he’s thinking so we’ll see what happens September 29th.”
Stipe is not worried about Stefan’s penchant for taking down strikers though. “You always have your plan and what you want to do,” said Stipe. “But you always run in to problems and you always have to change it up.”
While Stipe has routinely imposed his will on his opponents, dictating the pace and making them fight his way, his style may appear straightforward at times but don’t let it deceive you. He studies his opponent and follows a game plan every time he enters the octagon. “I do watch video on all the guys I fight and try to see what I can do that would help me out,” said Stipe. “I try to make the fight as easy as I can.”
Recently Stipe and Stefan exchanged some friendly banter on twitter. In jest they concluded that they were both sick of training and therefore should just fight that day. “He’s a great fighter, a great guy,” said Stipe.“He’s a good ambassador for the sport. I’m excited to be fighting him on September 29th.”
Fighting out of Strong Style Fight Team in Independence, Ohio, Stipe is confident he will secure his fourth victory in the UFC. “I’m seeing it as I’m getting the “W” no matter how it happens,” said Stipe. “I’m gonna get that “W” no matter what. I’m gonna finish the fight then wait for that phone call [from the UFC].”
Stipe would like to thank his coaches and teammates along with all of his sponsors Fear the Fighter, Hayabusa, Master of Disaster, Muscle Pharm, Tim Lally Chevrolet, CorinthianCoros.com, Topps, Murphys Ale House, and John P. Lennon.
Be sure to read more about Stipe and his project with Author Sam Dei Lune. The two are collaborating on a work of fiction entitled “Legend of the Huntsman” in which Stipe is the central character.
By Gabe Keith ~ Senior Writer
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