Stefan Struve will return to action when he meets Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at the UFC 190 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Aug. 1, 2015, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (details).
This contest comes on the heels of a few rocky years, which included the unfortunate passing of his father last December -- to go with his heart ailment -- as well as a knockout loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC on FOX 13.
But with his mind and body in the right place, Struve says he is more than prepared to face the huge task at hand: taking on "Big Nog" in the Brazilian's backyard. And despite the fact that he's fighting an older version of Nogueira, he isn't underestimating him one bit.
From his conversation with The MMA Hour:
"He's fighting in his hometown, but he is a little older. There is no secret in that, but he is still very dangerous. He's got really good boxing and he's got an amazing ground game. I need to be focused going into this fight. I cannot underestimate him and I won't do that. I do believe that if I fight my fight and to my potential, then it's my fight. And there is nothing in the cage for him."
In regard to being called out by Nogueira prior to the UFC 190 booking, Struve says if the legend thinks he's going to have an easy fight on his hands due to his recent rocky road, he's got another thing coming.
"I've had a couple of rough years and a couple of bad fights, because of some things that happened in my personal life. I think he thinks he's got a chance if I fight the way I fought in my last two fights. But I can tell you that's not going to happen. He is going to fight the best Stefan Struve the world has ever seen. I'm not sure that's the reason he wanted to fight me, but I've got a feeling it is."
That's why the towering Dutchman -- who now trains in Florida with The Blackzilians -- is confident he can finish the former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight champion in the very first round.
That's one way to stop the bleeding of a two-fight losing streak.
UFC 190 will feature a women's bantamweight title fight as Ronda Rousey attempts to defend her strap against Bethe Correia. Also, Mauricio Rua returns to action to take on former PRIDE FC rival, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
For more on the "Rousey vs. Correia" fight card click here.