UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve TKOs Stipe Miocic

NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:18 AM ET

Stefan (Skyscraper) Struve handed Stipe Miocic the first loss of his professional career, picking up an impressive TKO victory in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 5 in Nottingham, England, on Saturday.

Miocic took an early advantage, battering the Dutch heavyweight’s body and head with hard punches.

Struve responded by taking the fight to the former NCAA Division I wrestler in the second, utilizing his jab to dictate the distance before cracking Miocic with uppercuts and straights.

After wobbling Miocic at the mid-way point of the second round, Struve unloaded with punches, forcing referee Herb Dean to step in.

“We trained for five hard rounds and I knew I had it in me,” Struve told interview Jon Anik. “I hurt him in the second round with an uppercut. I knew if I had him rocked, I would go for the kill.”

Struve said he felt he silenced critics with his performance.

“I heard some complaints about my power in the past, but I think I’ve changed their minds,” Struve said. “I need to work on using my range better. There were some good moments and some bad moments.”

Struve is now riding a four-fight win streak.

Nottingham’s Dan (The Outlaw) Hardy earned a hard-fought unanimous decision over Amir Sadollah in the co-main event.

Hardy started out slow, playing the counter-striking game through the first round. He picked up the pace in the second, applying steady pressure and mixing up his strikes with takedowns to throw Sadollah off. In the third, Hardy unloaded a series of stiff elbows on a bloodied Sadollah.

After three rounds, the judges scored it 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 for Hardy.

“I’ve always dreamed of fighting here for the UFC,” Hardy said. “I’m just happy you could all come out and support me tonight.

“I thought I might have a tendency to go out and start trading punches. I like a war like all of you, but I had to be smart and sensible.”

The victory marks Hardy’s second straight since snapping a four-fight losing skid.

Brad (One Punch) Pickett lived up to his nickname, knocking out Yves (Tiger) Jabouin in spectacular fashion.

The two traded heavy leather in an exciting stand-up war, though Jabouin appeared to be getting the better of the exchanges. Despite getting tagged with vicious knees and kicks, Pickett never backed down.

After some back-and-forth action, the Brit countered a jab with a nasty uppercut for the impressive KO win.

“With a name like One Punch, it brings a lot of added pressure,” Pickett said. “That’s my first stoppage in a long time. I’ve had a lot of chokes and submissions, but to get a knockout against the best striker in the division, in my opinion, is phenomenal.”

Matt (Handsome) Wiman gave Paul (Sassangle) Sass a taste of his own medicine, putting the British submission wizard away with an armbar in the first round.

Sass was in control early, taking Wiman to the mat where he threatened with ground-and-pound, but soon found himself caught in a triangle-choke attempt. Wiman then transitioned to an armbar for the stunning submission victory.

“I just feel so humble,” an emotional Wiman said. “I have a lot of respect for a guy whose never lost before. He’s not going to give it you, you have to take it. I had so many nerves going into this fight.

“(The finish is) kind of a blur to me. I didn’t know who was winning that fight. I don’t know what kind of trouble he had me in.”

John (The Hitman) Hathaway dominated John (The One) Maguire en route to a unanimous decision. It was clear from the outset that Hathaway’s size and strength was too much for Maguire, who struggled to mount any significant offence throughout the first two rounds.

Maguire managed to take Hathaway to the mat in the third, but was unable to lock up a submission. After 15 pedestrian minutes, all three judges scored the bout 30-27.

Che (Beautiful) Mills was awarded a first-round TKO victory in the first main-card bout after Duane (Bang) Ludwig suffered a freak leg injury.

Mills was in control early, bullying Ludwig to the mat and delivering stiff elbows. After a brief exchange in the clinch, Ludwig hit the mat and immediately motioned towards his left knee, causing referee Herb Dead to call the fight.

Though the British striker surprisingly opted to grapple, he said takedowns weren’t his focus going into the bout.

“There was no set game plan,” Mills said. “I’ve been training so hard in all areas. It was wherever I felt comfortable. The takedown was there, so I took it.”

Jimi (Poster Boy) Manuwa handed out a brutal beating on Kyle Kingsbury in the final preliminary fight.

Manuwa’s dynamic striking was on display, as he turned the American Kickboxing Academy fighter into a human punching bag. After two rounds, the doctor stopped the bout due to Kingsbury’s left eye swelling shut, awarding a TKO victory to Manuwa.

Akira Corassani snagged a debatable split decision over Andy Ogle in a battle of TUF veterans. After three rounds, the judges scored it 29-28, 27-30 and 29-28 for Corassani.

Brad Tavares won an entertaining split decision over the debuting Tom (Kong) Watson with scores of 30-27, 28-29 and 29-28.

Gunnar (Gunny) Nelson’s highly-anticipated UFC debut couldn’t have gone better. The decorated Icelandic grappler submitted DaMarques (Darkness) Johnson with a rear-naked choke in the first round.

The opening bout saw Robert (Problems) Peralta pick up a vicious 23-second KO victory over Jason (Shotgun) Young.

RESULTS

Stefan Struve def. Stipe Miocic via second-round TKO (punches)

Dan Hardy def. Amir Sadollah via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Brad Pickett def. Yves Jabouin via first-round KO (punches)

Matt Wiman def. Paul Sass via first-round submission (armbar)

John Hathaway def. John Maguire via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Che Mills def. Duane Ludwig via first-round TKO (injury)


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