Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Stefan Struve, who was recently cleared to return to action, will fight Matt Mitrione at the upcoming UFC 175 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for July 5, 2014, inside the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Why so serious?
"Skyscraper" is accusing "Meathead" of specifically asking for this match up -- even before learning that Struve was medically cleared to return -- because he wanted to secure a fight that gave him a better chance of winning. And it dates back to their most recent run-in overseas.
Struve explains to MMA Weekly:
"In Macau, when Mitrione (last) fought, he was really interested (in my heart condition), so I explained to him what was going on and all that. So he knew where I was at. Then, a couple months later, even before I'm cleared to return to the Octagon, you tell Joe Silva that you want to fight me for my comeback fight? I wasn't even cleared to fight yet. Everybody knew I was on the way up, things were looking good, but I wasn't cleared yet. Everybody knew that I had a heart issue and then you call up the matchmaker without knowing I'm cleared and then you ask for the fight? The only way you would do that is because you think you have a better chance of winning that fight. In my opinion, that really is pathetic and Matt Mitrione made this personal."
Struve (25-6) has been sidelined with a heart condition for over a year (details) and hasn't seen action since his knockout loss to Mark Hunt in Japan. Mitrione (7-3), meanwhile, got back into the win column last January by beating the brakes off Shawn Jordan.
"Meathead" has been known to make things personal with fighters in the past, even getting into a "Sin City" scuffle with UFC castoff Tito Ortiz back in 2011. Whether or not his intention was to capitalize on the ring rust of Struve is uncertain, but it certainly didn't sit well with "Skyscraper."
How about you?