Tomorrow, twenty-three year old Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) will celebrate his 10 appearance inside the UFC Octagon, facing Dave Herman in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 1. Currently holding a record of 7-3 in the UFC, Struve will look to continue his winning ways, after defeating Patrick Barry via armbar-triangle combination, back in October.
Stefan Struve trains under the patronage of Bob Schrijber (Schrijber's wife is on the pictures) at Team Schrijber training camp, located in Wormerveer, the Netherlands. In the United States, Struve represents Antoni Hardonk's Dynamix MMA, but majority of the Dutchman's training is in his home country.
"I have everything I need here," declared Struve. "I'm trained by some of the best coaches in the world, so there's no real reason to look elsewhere. I do train in the United States from time to time, but I'm training with Bob Schrijber since I'm 14 years old, so I believe in him as a coach. A lot of people move to USA because of wrestling, but I'm not afraid of fighting off my back, so like I mentioned before, I have everything I need here in the Netherlands."
Speaking in-depth about his preparations for Dave Herman, Stefan Struve seemed confident in his abilities to defeat the 21-2 "Pee-Wee". The Dutchman revealed he hopes Dave Herman fights tomorrow night the same way he did against John-Olav Einemo, back at UFC 131.
"Dave fought a lot of guys, but those victories were 'decent'. He never fought a top heavyweight," said Struve. "He's a co-main event of the night, so he has to get used to it. That's a very important factor, and I think my experience will be a big advantage. And I actually hope he fights against me the same way he did against John-Olav Einemo. His conditioning was not at its peak, and he was backpedalling most of the time. Not going to work against me."
One of the main aspects of Stefan Struve's preparation is gaining muscle mass. Struve will weigh-in at 265lbs for the fight with Dave Herman, but for the Dutchman this is just the beginning:
"I think walking around 280 would be good. I'm 265lbs now, but I think 280 is the perfect weight for me. Cutting 10-15lbs is no big deal, so I will continue lifting weights for my future fights as well."
Stefan Struve is well-known for his exceptional grappling skills. The Skyscraper's record includes 15 Submission victories, despite the fact that he's "only" a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Struve is trained by the old-school UFC veteran Remco Pardoel, who helps the 6ft 11 giant to sharpen his Arte Suave.
Struve provided Mixed Martial Arts fans around the world unforgettable moments with his victories over Denis Stojnic, Chase Gormley and Pat Barry. So far, Struve earned two Submission of the Night and one Fight of the Night awards, thanks to an exciting fighting style that makes him one of the most promising fighters in MMA today.
"Remco Pardoel is a fantastic coach; I've been working with him for over a year now. He opened a whole new world of Jiu-Jitsu or me. No gi is very different. I never trained in gi, so I realized when you are studying the traditional way of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in combination with that unorthodox no gi thing, your grappling skills improve drastically," said Struve. "I'm a young fighter, and there's still so much to learn. So again, I believe I'm in the right hands".
MMA fans around the world are already speculating about Stefan Struve's chances to win one of the ADCC Grappling competitions. The Dutchman is not ruling out the idea of testing himself on the biggest grappling stage on the planet, but still makes clear that his main focus is on Mixed Martial Arts.
"That would be a great idea to participate in one of the ADCC competitions. I'm currently concentrated on MMA, but it's always nice to test yourself against the best."
Finally, Stefan Struve reflected on his future as a fighter. The Dutchman promises MMA fans around the globe to do his best in becoming the UFC Heavyweight champ, but knows that it's a "step by step" journey, especially when you're a 23-year old fighter with 27 fights on your record.
"To become a champion I need to improve on everything," admitted Struve. "My ground game is good, but I need to get sharper with my stand-up. My physique gives me a lot of advantages. I know there are a lot of tough fights are ahead, but I'm ready for everything. This is my mission as a fighter - to become a champion in the UFC, and I will do everything to reach my goals. I plan to be in the mix for a title shot by the end of 2012."
Win or lose, there's no doubt about Stefan Struve being one of the most exciting fighters in the game, and there's no doubt his encounter with Dave Herman will deliver the expected excitement for UFC's debut on Fuel TV.
Stay tuned to LowKick.com for more UFC on Fuel TV coverage. The event will take place tomorrow, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska. As always, we'll be here with LIVE results and Play-by-Play chat coverage.