Combined, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Stefan Struve have scored 46 MMA victories, including 30 finishes.

However, with both fighters combining for just two wins over their last 10 fights, their co-main event Sunday at UFC Fight Night 87 is a crucial moment for both heavyweights.

Four short years ago, Silva (20-7-1) was riding high after a third round knockout of Alistair Overeem. That came on the heels of a first round knockout of Travis Browne and earned the Brazilian a rematch with then-UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.

Velasquez stopped Silva inside of two minutes in the first round, and he’s been reeling ever since.

After fighting Mark Hunt to a draw to close out 2013, Silva suffered back-to-back first round knockouts at the hands of Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir. He did get back on track last August when he finished Soa Palelei, but a rematch with Hunt in November ended with the big man looking up at the lights.

It’s hard to remember that this is the same fighter – maybe not after the ban placed on TRT usage – that once bested Overeem, Browne, Fedor Emelianenko and Arlovski between 2010-13.

Struve (26-8) finds himself in much the same situation. In 2012, he was riding a four-fight finish streak that featured a second round TKO over Stipe Miocic, a first round submission of Lavar Johnson and finishes over Dave Herman and Pat Barry.

A year later, and “The Skyscraper’s” world had been turned upside down. He lost to Mark Hunt and was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and a leaking aortic valve. That put Struve on the sidelines until 2014 when he was set to meet Matt Mitrione.

Moments before that fight was to go down, though, Struve passed out in the dressing room after seeing his heart rate elevate. He was sidelined again, returning later that year in a loss to Overeem.

Last August when he earned a decision over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, it marked the first win for Struve since that 2012 finish of Miocic.

With all the pressure on both of these fighters, we can expect one of two things to happen.

First, they will come out guns blazing, looking for the finish either on the feet or on the ground.

But, if both feel the pressure of being in a “must-win” situation, they might play it close to the vest and leave us with a three-round, 15-minute decision.

About The Author

Dana Becker
Staff Writer

Dana Becker is an MMA reporter for The MMA Corner. Along with covering the sport, Dana is also a sports writer for a daily newspaper in Iowa, where he lives with his wife and two sons.