After taking over a month off from live action, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicked things up a notch by treating mixed martial arts (MMA) fans to two consecutive weekends of top level action from inside the Octagon.
This time, the event was an afternoon matinee for stateside fans, as the United Kingdom (UK) setting caused for an earlier start time. It was also a rare opportunity for European fans to rub our "yank" noses in it and ask, "See what we have to go through on a regular basis?"
In the main event for UFC on Fuel TV 5, which took place place LIVE from Nottingham, England on Sat., Sept. 29, 2012, Heavyweights Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic threw down in a battle of two of the up-and-coming fighters in the 265-pound division.
Miocic sought to continue his MMA unbeaten streak, but to do so, he'd have to take down a giant, literally, as the seven-foot tall "Skyscraper" poses an easy challenge for no man.
When it was all said and done, it was Struve who ended up with his long arm raised in the air, as his experience and ever-evolving well-rounded game were too much for the former NCAA Division I wrestler.
Struve was yet again faced with a fighter whose power was supposed to pose huge problems for the Dutch phenom. That just didn't end being how it went down.
With the win, Struve has now won four in a row, and he's amassed a very impressive 25-5 professional record. He continues to improve with every fight, and he's shown that he has, indeed, fully rebounded from his KO loss to Travis Browne at UFC 130 in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 28, 2011.
So, what's next?
I'd love to see Struve take on an upper echelon opponent. It would be a true test to see if he's really improved as much as it seems, or if the results were skewed by the adversaries he was facing.
There are two names, in particular, that come to my mind.
My first preference would be Alistair Overeem. It's a big step up. I know this. But, look. If "The Reem" isn't getting a title shot in his first fight back, what good does it do anyone for him to sit on the sidelines?
If Overeem can get licensed in December, a showdown between he and Struve in January or February would be ideal. It serves as a potential number one contender eliminator, and stylistically, I love it.
If that can't happen, my "Plan B" would be Fabricio Werdum. Both Werdum and Struve have shown rapidly improving striking games within the past year. They're also both beasts on the ground.
I don't wanna say it'd be impossible for that fight to be boring, because I remember what happened when Werdum fought Overeem for Strikeforce. However, I'd be surprised if a Werdum vs. Struve fight didn't bring about some serious fireworks.
Those are my best guesses, but I'd love to hear from you. hit us up in the comment section below with your wish list of opponents for UFC on FUEL TV 5's big winner: Stefan Struve!