Stefan Struve and Mark Hunt will meet at UFC on Fuel TV 8 in what is sure to be a pivotal bout in the UFC heavyweight rankings. Both guys are riding impressive waves, as Struve has won four straight and the former K-1 star, Hunt, has rattled off three consecutive victories. Although both men are poised to become true contenders with a win, is there any chance that one of them can claim gold?

Don’t put much stock in it.

Hunt is in the twilight of his career, but is currently enjoying a renaissance. With that said, defeating the likes of Cheick Kongo, Ben Rothwell and Chris Tuchscherer doesn’t inspire much confidence about his chances against the division’s elite. Hunt has a granite chin and is one of the most powerful strikers in the division, but he doesn’t match up well against the higher ranked guys. Cain Velasquez would simply outwork him on the feet and would no doubt have an even easier time using his wrestling. Guys like Junior dos Santos, Daniel Cormier and even Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva all have better skill sets than Hunt. He’ll always be a fan favorite and has certainly enjoyed a nice run in the UFC, but his hopes of a title end against Struve.

So where does that leave “The Skyscraper” then?

If Struve defeats Hunt, it would be his fifth consecutive win and would likely have earned him a shot at one of the top guys in the division. Unfortunately for Struve, it’s difficult to envision the Dutchman having much success against the upper-level guys either. It’s not for a lack of talent, as it’s clear Struve has the skills to be a great fighter along with the physical gifts to help. The concern is Struve’s inability to use those physical gifts to avoid taking so many shots to the chin. Being so tall naturally leaves his chin open, as he’s more likely to stand upright, and his ability to take a punch is, well, questionable at best.

With that said, losing to two power punchers like Roy Nelson and dos Santos is nothing to be ashamed of. And who could’ve seen a superman punch coming from Travis Browne in their contest?

What there is to like about Struve is the fact that he has obviously evolved his MMA game and continues to be a better fighter each time he steps in the Octagon. His willingness to pull guard against Lavar Johnson only seconds into their fight was impressive, and the move obviously paid off for “The Skyscraper.”

If Struve can focus on rounding out his ground game, he’ll have a chance against the better heavyweights. But his inability to properly use his reach will haunt him.

Photo: Stefan Struve (R) KO’s Stipe Miocic (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.