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Stefan Struve: I’ll be talking with my hands at UFC 124 (Exclusive Interview)
At the age of just 22, Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve is considered as one of the top Heavyweights in Mixed Martial Arts today. Holding an impressive record of 20-4, Struve will look to add the name of Sean McCorkle to his ongoing list of victims, in a bout that will serve as the co-main event of UFC 124 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Sean McCorkle (10-0) will be the second undefeated Heavyweight in a row for Stefan Struve, after the Dutch giant knocked out the 6-0 Christian Morecraft in his last bout at UFC 117. Struve is currently 4-2 in his UFC campaign, losing to Junior Dos Santos and Roy Nelson via a TKO.
Your next fight is against Sean McCorkle at UFC 124 next weekend. Can you talk about your camp and how’s your training going for this fight?
I’m feeling ready. It’s been a very long camp for me. I’ve been working on all areas of Mixed Martial Arts, but focused on my kickboxing. I trained with the likes of Jerome Le Banner, so I think that my preparation couldn’t be better for this fight.
In light of how Sean McCorkle submitted Mark Hunt in his last bout, do you think that his main strength is ground game? And what do you think about the size factor coming to this fight?
Actually, I don’t think so. Yes, McCorkle is pretty good on the ground, but I think that his main strength is in wrestling and striking. As for the size, I think it will be easier for me to fight a bigger guy, because I will be punching at my level, and not punching down. When I fight smaller guys I’m punching down, and I think that it takes away from my power. I have a reach advantage to my size, which is a very important thing. In general, I’m not thinking about what he got and his advantages, I just want to come out there and fight my fight.
Before your arrival in the UFC you were known for finishing most of your fights via a Submission. In the UFC it looks like you’re looking to strike more. Do you find it more difficult to go for a submission in the UFC?
I don’t think it’s more difficult. It really depends on the way fight is developing. When I have an opportunity to knock out my opponent, I’ll do it. And if the fight goes to the ground, I’ll definitely be looking for a submission. I currently have two submissions in the UFC, and I’ll be looking add another one on Saturday.
You’re always talking about adding more muscle mass to your frame. Will we see a heavier Stefan Struve in his fight?
Yeah. I’m currently weighing 255 pounds. But I really want to take it slow, not to rush and make my muscle gain more natural. I don’t want to be fat; I just want to have muscle.
I just looked at the collection of Tweets from Sean McCorkle where he mentions you. What do you think about this whole trash talk thing?
At first I was a little bit surprised with his whole internet thing. But to tell you the truth, I don’t really care. I’m not that type of guy who wastes his training time on talking smack. So he can say whatever he wants. I’ll be talking with my hands inside the Octagon next Saturday.
You are currently 4-2 in the UFC, where do you see yourself in the UFC in terms of a title shot? And what do you think about the new Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez?
I’m not thinking about a title shot right now. I’m only 22, so I want to move forward step by step. We’ll see what happens after this fight, and where it puts me in the UFC Heavyweight division. As for Cain Velasquez, I love the way he fights. He’s very well-rounded, with good wrestling, take downs and good stand-up. So all overall he’s simply a great fighter.
You recently stated that this fight is going to be a disaster for Sean McCorkle. So I think there’s no reason to ask you about a prediction for this fight. It will be a knockout.
Yeah, that’s the plan. But if the fight goes to the ground, I’ll definitely try to submit him. We’ll have to find out next weekend.
Do you want to pass any message to Sean McCorkle?
I hope that he’s been training well for the fight, as much as he spent time talking on the internet. Because I’m ready for a war. The fans in Montreal are going to see a hell of a fight.