On July 5, heavyweight Stefan Struve will return to the UFC Octagon after what must have been an excruciating year and a half, or so. The Dutch fighter lost his last bout via KO to Mark Hunt in March, 2013, snapping a four-fight win streak.
The knockout broke the young heavyweight's jaw, but then he soon received even worse news - that he had a potentially career-ending heart condition. Just about everyone counted Struve out but the fighter himself never gave up on the notion that he'd return to competition.
At UFC 175, Struve will make his come back against Matt Mitrione. The 26 year-old is confident that he can not only beat Mitrione, but also "walk through" just about everyone in the UFC's heavyweight division.
"I can't wait to get back in there healthy, feeling better and to really show how good I am," Struve said recently during an interview on The Great MMA Debate podcast.
"As I said before, in my opinion, I should have not lost that last fight. I should be on a five-fight win streak. It is what it is, I can't change anything about it. The only thing I can do is make sure things go my way in July. We're doing everything we can to make that happen, and I don't see anyway how he can take that away from me."
Struve's last win came against the now-highly regard Stipe Miocic, who he beat via TKO. The modern-day giant is eager to get back to his winning ways and believes that his best days are ahead of him.
"I want to pick up where I left off when I beat Miocic," he said.
"I want to continue my streak. Really, in my opinion, I should be able to walk through everybody up until the top 5 and I should be able to be competitive against the top 5 and win fights there, too. My best years are coming up. I've been in the UFC since my early 20's. Heavyweights don't peak up until they're like 30 or in their 30's. So, my best years are coming up and I can't wait to show people that I'm really good in those best years."
How do you think Struve will do July 5 in his return bout? Let us know in the comments section.