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UFC 175's Stefan Struve confident best years still ahead, confident he can 'walk through' heavyweights not in Top 5

"Skyscraper" also believes he can be competitive against the Top 5-ranked heavyweights under the UFC banner, and win a couple of fights against them, too.

Esther Lin/ MMA Fighting

Now that Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen's drug test issues are done taking the spotlight away from people who are actually competing at UFC 175, fans can focus on the actual fights set to go down on July 5, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We hope.

While the attention now shifts to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight title fight between champion Chris Weidman taking on Lyoto Machida and Ronda Rousey attempting to defend her bantamweight title for the third time against Alexis Davis, another interesting scrap with less buzz is taking place on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card.

It's one that will mark the return of Stefan Struve, who will battle Matt Mitrione in his first Heavyweight fight back since sitting out one year to tend to the leaking aortic valve and enlarged heart that threatened his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Now that he's cleared to return, "Skyscraper" looks to erase the memory of his knockout loss to Mark Hunt at UFC 144 (video). The loss, which was Struve's final fight before his health issues emerged, snapped a four-fight win streak.

Speaking to Fox Sports' "The Great MMA Debate Podcast," Struve says he is eager to step back into the Octagon and prove to the world just how good he really is now that his health is back to normal.

His words:

"I can't wait to get back in there healthy, feeling better and to really show how good I am. As I said before, in my opinion, I should have not lost that last fight. I should be on a five-fight win streak. It is what it is, I can't change anything about it. The only thing I can do is make sure things go my way in July. We're doing everything we can to make that happen, and I don't see anyway how he (Mitrione) can take that away from me."

For Struve, losing to Hunt was a crushing blow to his title fight hopes. But, the Dutchmen looks to pick up right where he left off when he knocked out Miocic in 2012.

According to "Skyscraper," who made his UFC debut at age 21, he has yet to peak and declares that his best years are still to come inside the Octagon.

His words:

"I want to pick up where I left off when I beat Miocic. I want to continue my streak. Really, in my opinion, I should be able to walk through everybody up until the top 5 and I should be able to be competitive against the top 5 and win fights there, too. My best years are coming up. I've been in the UFC since my early 20's. Heavyweights don't peak up until they're like 30 or in their 30's. So, my best years are coming up and I can't wait to show people that I'm really good in those best years."

Struve will take on a man who isn't exactly on his Christmas list, as Mittrione drew the ire of the Dutchmen after "Meathead" asked Joe Silva to be the towering heavyweight's comeback fight shortly after the two men had a face-to-face conversation about his ailing heart.

What's worse, Struve had not yet been cleared to return to action before Mitrione started lobbying for the fight. He got what fight he wanted, and you can bet Struve would love nothing more than to make him regret asking for it.

After all, Mitrione can't be found in the Top 15 at the moment.

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