Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
"Bigfoot" recorded his first UFC win last night in Minneapolis and avoided his 3rd straight defeat, so what's next for the gigantic Brazilian heavyweight? Perhaps a fight with the Skyscraper should be in his plans...
Antonio Silva ended a two-fight streak of non-competitive beatings with a first-round upset KO of favored prospect Travis Browne in the main event of UFC on FX 5. Unfortunately his win was slightly marred by Travis Browne's knee injury early in the fight, but that shouldn't completely take away the legitimacy of Bigfoot's performance. While Browne started off with high kicks and a flying knee, Silva was measured with his strikes and never let Browne get any foothold in the fight. It was a much-needed win for someone who hadn't looked impressive since his domination of Fedor Emelianenko.
This upset comes one week after Stefan Struve impressed with an unexpected TKO over Stipe Miocic. Struve overcame one of his usual slow starts to dominate Miocic with an accurate jab followed by powerful uppercuts and power shots to force the stoppage. For the Skyscraper, it was a strong showing and proved that he is more than capable of providing effective, powerful striking in addition to his solid ground skills. He recently called out Fabricio Werdum, and while that's a decent fight, I'm not sure what Fabricio has to gain here given where they are in the rankings.
I think the best fight to make right now for these two is against each other. Not just for the pure spectacle of an obscenely large heavyweight against the tallest man in the UFC, but it's a good measuring stick (no pun intended) for both men and for Struve in particular.
Let's face it, it is highly unlikely Bigfoot becomes a championship-level fighter. I firmly believe that the generation of 230-250ish heavyweights like Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, and Junior dos Santos will lead the way for years to come. Gigantic 265ers like Frank Mir 2.0, Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar, and the aforementioned Silva have all fought at least one of the fighters I mentioned in the previous sentence and they've all lost. The combined record of Mir, Carwin, Lesnar, and Bigfoot against Cain, Cormier, and JDS is 0-5 with 4 KO/TKOs. All of them had great trouble keeping up with the speed, athleticism, cardio, and strength of "smaller" HWs and their "size advantage" was completely nullified as a result.
That said, Bigfoot is still a legitimate top 10 heavyweight and Stefan Struve is a different body-build from any other HW I've mentioned. He's only 24 and the Struve you see now will almost certainly look physically different even three years from now. What Bigfoot will lack in height he'll make up for with his 82 inch reach, and he'd easily be the best grappler Struve has faced in his recent winning streak. There are so many variables that make this a highly unpredictable bout. Struve has proven to struggle in the opening few minutes even against lower-tier opposition like Christian Morecraft, while the majority of Bigfoot's stoppage victories have come in the first round. Struve's offensive striking has certainly improved and if he can effectively and consistently find his jab it'll be a major arsenal added to his skillset. Bigfoot obviously has powerful hands but a questionable chin on the anatomical marvel that is his head.
I believe it's a great fight on paper and if Struve can win against Bigfoot then he has definitely earned a shot against a top 5 guy. If Bigfoot wins it solidifies his place in the top 10 and keeps him as one of the most dangerous guys in the division but generally in the "on the outside and looking in" category of title contenders.