A battle of promising up-and-coming heavyweights has been slotted for the preliminary card of UFC 117 as Stefan Struve (19-4) will welcome newcomer Christian Morecraft (6-0) to the Octagon when the promotion heads to the Oracle Arena for "Silva vs. Sonnen" on August 7.
MMA Fight Council first reported the titanic tilt on Sunday night.
After getting battered by Junior dos Santos in his UFC debut in early 2009, "Skyscraper" finished out the year with three big wins over Denis Stojnic, Chase Gormley and Paul Buentello. There was talk about his place among the division contenders until Roy "Big Country" Nelson sent him to the back of the line with a thunderous overhand right.
Still, the lanky Dutchman is early in his career and already has a couple of high profile fights under his belt. While he prefers to stand and bang, he also owns a sneaky submission game, finishing 14 of his 19 wins by way of tap out.
Hoping to make a name for himself right out of the gate is Morecraft, who can certainly make an indelible impression by finishing Struve. The New England nightmare has been wreaking havoc in regional promotions, including his heavyweight championship run in Cage Fghting Xtreme (CFX).
The 23-year-old is also an imposing physical presence, listed at 6' 8" and 265-pounds. Struve for once will not have a significant size advantage. But will he need it with Morecraft, who's only 6-0?
Time will tell.
UFC 117 will feature the put-up-or-shut-up middleweight title fight between Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva in the main event of the evening. A welterweight rematch between top contenders Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves is also expected to go down.
For the current "Silva vs. Sonnen" fight card click here.