Early in 2013, Mark Hunt savagely broke heavyweight Stefan Struve’s jaw. Then the Dutch fighter learned he was suffering from heart issues. These were eventually treated with medication, but his return was delayed when he passed out in the dressing room before his return fight with Matt Mitrione in July of 2014. That episode was later attributed to stress. When he finally returned, vs. Alistair Overeem in December of 2014, he got knocked out in the first.
The UFC then throttled back the competition.
Next Struve decisioned an aging Antonio ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira in August of last year; the Brazilian has not fought since. Then Struve lost a decision to Jared Rosholt, knocked out Bigfoot in the first, and Darse choked Daniel Omielańczuk, a late substitute for Ruslan Magomedov.
Now the competition is serious.
The #11 ranked contender Struve faces #4 ranked Junior Dos Santos in the main event of UFC Fight Night 105 in Halifax, Canada, on February 19. JDS won in just 54 seconds at their first fight, way back in February of 2009 at UFC 95 in London, England.
Dos Santos has alternated losses and wins his last six, more recently getting TKoed by Alistair Overeem and decisioning Ben Rothwell.