Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
How do you separate yourself from the rest of the pack? Pick one of the other top up-and-comers and knock them clean out, like "Hapa" did when he toppled the "Skyscraper" at UFC 130 back in May 2011.
Despite just two fights under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner, towering heavyweight up-and-comer Travis Browne already made a name for himself within the mixed martial arts (MMA) community.
But it probably wasn't the way he had in mind.
"Hapa" was the victim of a third-round debagging against Cheick Kongo at the UFC 120 pay-per-view (PPV) event back in Oct. 2010 across the pond. It was one of the ugliest five minutes ever displayed inside the Octagon in a fight already marred by knees to the groin and other wanton infractions.
The Hawaiian, still undefeated after settling for a draw against the power-punching Parisian, needed the kind of performance that would not only wipe the slate clean, but propel him into the 265-pound "mix" at a time when the division was starved of contenders.
Enter Stefan Struve.
"Skyscraper" had built himself a two-fight win streak, knocking out Christian Morecraft and Sean McCorkle en route to a possible shot at one of the top five heavyweights in the world. To accomplish that goal, he needed to go through Browne at the UFC 130 event on May 28, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here's what happened.
A reluctant touch of gloves and Browne opens with a pair of leg kicks that return the same. Struve runs in with a jumping over-the-top punch that puts his foe into reverse. A clinch ensues and "Hapa" is bullied into the cage. He answers with a short elbow and reverses position.
Some chest grinding draws a separation from veteran referee Steve Mazzagatti.
Browne opens fire and Struve gets on his bicycle to circle out of harm's way. They meet in the center to exchange outside leg kicks. Heavy leather is heavy and color commentator Joe Rogan remarks, "Browne is really winging those shots. He's having a hard time finding the chin of Struve."
A push kick from "Skyscraper" gets him tied up and ultimately, taken down. Browne commits an error in positioning and Struve capitalizes, escaping to his feet while simultaneously lunging forward to secure a front choke. The Hawaiian manages to power out and they get back on their toes.
But not for long.
"Hapa" unloads a combination that sends the Dutchman to the fence. He gallops back into the pocket and Browne lunges forward with a Superman punch. It lands flush and Struve does an involuntary limbo before crashing to the mat unconscious.
Fight over, man-of-steel style.
This Friday night (Oct. 5, 2012) Browne will try to be faster than a speeding "Bigfoot" when he takes on Antonio Silva in the main event of UFC on FX 5 from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Will it be doomsday for the hulking Brazilian?
Or will "Pezao" prove to be kryptonite?