Herman showed up much more grizzled than his prior babyface look and was hoping he would mature inside the Octagon as well against "The Skyscraper," who had much more UFC experience than him.
While Herman was able to set the tone early, it was Struve who took over in the second round, looking much more comfortable in taking out the kooky Team Quest fighter.
So what adjustments helped Struve cruise to victory? And what's next for both fighters?
Follow me after the jump for our Stefan Struve vs. Dave Herman UFC on Fuel TV 1 post-fight review and analysis:
While Struve professed his evolution in use of range and technique, he didn't look the part early, allowing Herman to back him into the fence repeatedly and connect with a large volume of leg kicks. "The Skyscraper" was not using his jab to keep Herman at bay,
Neither man took much initiative early as it was more of a five minute feeling-out process, although Herman was slightly more aggressive.
In the second round, Struve immediately closed the distance, clinching and scoring a big takedown while landing directly into mount. Herman turtled and escaped out the backdoor, but the Dutch fighter had finally gained some serious confidence.
"The Skyscraper" turned up the heat, backing Herman up and pressing forward with constant pressure. He began to land bigger and bigger strikes against Herman, throwing heavier punches and finally hurting the Team Quest fighter with a beautiful combination. Struve started it with a straight left hand, followed up with an inside leg kick and then closed with a powerful right uppercut which went straight up the middle and blasted Herman in the face.
Herman went down and Struve followed him to the canvas, again taking full mount and pounding away until the referee put a halt to the action.
For Dave Herman, it appears to be time to quit being so random and quirky. He looked ridiculous with the died body hair and the crazy beard and his fighting wasn't much better. He tried all kinds of crazy attacks but it was only his leg kicks which were truly effective. He also never followed up when he'd land a good punch which backed Struve up during striking exchanges. His pure athleticism can only take him so far. It's time to add better technique to his arsenal.
For Stefan Struve, the finish to the fight was terrific, but he's still got a long ways to go before he's able to utilize his reach properly. Herman was ripe to eating repeated jabs in the face, but Struve never really pulled the trigger, instead focusing on the occasional kicks and heavier punches which would put him in danger of eating counters. Hopefully he can continue to pack on some muscle to his frame and shore up his striking. He definitely had his moments.
There are all kinds of opponents for Struve depending on where the UFC currently ranks him or wants to push him. I could see him fighting anyone from Gabriel Gonzaga to the Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo winner to even Fabricio Werdum. He's an exciting heavyweight and deserves an equally exciting opponent.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Did Struve's finish make you rethink what he's capable of accomplishing at heavyweight? Will Dave Herman ever truly utilize his potential?