A heavyweight clash between two Dutch fighters, Alistair Overeem and Stefan Struve, has been announced for UFC On FOX 13 on December 13th.
Overeem is coming off a first round TKO loss to Ben Rothwell just a couple of weeks ago – his third loss in his last four Octagon appearances. Despite his slump in form the UFC have opted to keep him on-board for now, but this will surely be seen as the last-chance saloon for him to get back on track.
By the time the fight comes around it’ll have been over a year and half since Struve’s last fight, a third round TKO defeat at the hands of Mark Hunt that snapped his four-fight unbeaten run.
Following the fight Struve was diagnosed with a potentially career-threatening heart condition, but after a year out being monitored and treated for the issue he was given the all-clear to continue his career.
However, on the night of his comeback fight against Matt Mitrione in July he almost passed out backstage and had to withdraw from the bout leading to fears that it was related to his heart condition, but doctor’s quickly assessed that it had in fact just been a panic attack.
This is a curious bit of match-making from the UFC. For Struve in particular, a high profile bout with Overeem seems like an odd choice after everything he’s been through. A ‘tune-up’ fight on the prelims of an upcoming fight card with an unranked fighter would have made more sense, but instead they are throwing him straight back into the fire on what’ll be one of the most watched UFC events of the year on FOX.
It’s still a potentially tricky bout for Overeem as well though – certainly not an easy fight to get him back to winning ways.
At this stage it’s unclear where the bout will be placed on the UFC On FOX 13 main card, but given Struve’s last minute call-off in his previously scheduled fight it’s highly unlikely they would risk making this upcoming bout the main event.
Meanwhile, according to the UFC Tonight show Junior dos Santos Vs Stipe Miocic is another heavyweight fight that’s currently under consideration for the FOX show.