Stefan Struve started off slowly against Dave Herman at UFC On Fuel TV 1 tonight, but switched up a gear in the second round and sealed a TKO victory.
Struve looked tentative in the opening round and failed to establish his superior height and reach advantage, so it was Herman who was getting the better of the action.
While he wasn’t able to land anything particularly hurtful, Herman was able to control the action and the fact that he was able to get inside Struve’s reach and was willing to throw unpredictable strikes while the Dutch striker’s hands were always little low meant he always looked a threat.
Struve started the second round in brighter fashion and suprised Herman by managing to take him down straight into full mount, though he wasn’t able to maintain the position and soon they were back on the feet.
As the round progressed Struve was slowly getting into his stride and beginning to put together combinations, and one solid blow in particular opened a cut under Herman’s left eye.
Then came the major moment of the fight as Struve put together a four-piece combination, most notably an inside leg kick which took away Herman’s balance followed by a hard uppercut to the chin that dropped him.
With Herman trying to clear the cobwebs Struve was able to get into full mount and began raining down blows. Herman was still conscious, but he was purely in survival mode and after a couple of warnings to fight back with no response the referee called an end to the contest with 3.52mins of the second round gone.
Overall this was a nice win for Struve, but I still think there’s a lot of room for improvement in his stand-up style, particularly in terms of using distance effectively and improving on his defense. The good news is that at the age of 23 he’s still got plenty of time to do just that.