Stefan Struve believes the key to beating Dave Herman on Wednesday is staying calm.
“When [I] get a little crazy, just step back and keep my distance, use my reach to keep him at bay and just stay relaxed,” Struve told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “That’s how I’ve fought my best fights. Just stay relaxed and composed and try to find the holes in his game. Don’t get drawn into a brawl -- that’s the most important thing for this fight.”
Struve meets Herman in a heavyweight bout on the main card of UFC on Fuel “Ellenberger vs. Sanchez.” Both fighters are coming off wins. Struve submitted Pat Barry in his most recent match, and Herman stopped John Olav Einemo.
“He’s got solid power in his punches,” Struve said of Herman. “The thing is, you don’t want to have him come in close to you throwing those shots and throwing those knees like Einemo did in his last fight. Einemo did that because he was really tired. He let [Herman] do that.”
At 6-foot-11, Struve plans on using his reach to keep Herman from closing the distance.
“For me, the game plan should be just to use my reach and keep my distance, pick him apart,” Struve said. “I think I’m better on the ground too. I think he’s a tough guy and an exciting fighter. It’s going to be a good fight on Wednesday.”
Struve’s ground game could be critical in the fight. His length helps him on the feet, but he also thinks it gives him an edge on the mat.
“I think it’s a huge advantage, not only [with] my guard but the way I set up chokes from any angle,” Struve said. “It’s so different than other people do it. It’s so much easier, and I lock up things so much faster than most people that they don’t really get to use the escapes they use normally. Not only is my guard really good, but the speed I have on the ground -- most people don’t know how to deal with it.”
The 23-year-old Dutchman has already fought nine times in the UFC, winning six of those matches. He’s not looking past Herman, but he has good reason to believe his best days lie ahead.
“I’m learning so much and I’m getting so much better,” Struve said. “Of course I’m still filling out my frame. I’ll be between 260 and 265 for this fight and I hope to come in at 290 in a couple of years. There’s still a lot of things to look out for.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:35:00).