After a brief retirement, UFC heavyweight veteran Stefan Struve decided to make a comeback on Saturday night. “The Skyscraper” faced Ben Rothwell at UFC DC, where he absorbed two unintentional groin strikes.
The 31-year-old Dutch fighter ended up losing via second round TKO, a result which he feels was affected by those two illegal blows.
“I don’t hold any animosity against Ben, because I don’t think he threw those kicks on purpose,” Struve told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “I do think you are responsible for what you throw in that cage. Even if it wasn’t intentional, they did their due and the fight changed completely in my opinion, after those shots.
“So even though I made the decision to continue, nine out of 10 fighters they’ll continue, that’s the thing. You get kind of screwed by the rules in my opinion, you need to be protected more.”
Struve also admitted that the crowd’s reactions got to him at some point.
Shit was weird as fuck, I felt I was gonna give birth to fucking charizard and they were booing and chanting. Then I start to fight again and they chant USA, USA, USA. Like my Dutch balls did something wrong https://t.co/0Bjst3oOtS— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) December 9, 2019
“I never really had this happen during any fight,” he said. “It was weird because I was dealing with recovery and all that stuff happened, (and) it definitely does something with you. You want to continue, at the same time you’re like, ‘Hey man, just give me my time,’ because they really don’t know what I’m feeling right now.
“It was weird. It was a weird night.”
With the unpleasant ending to his return, Struve isn’t really looking to run it back with “Big Ben.”
“I’m not really interested,” he said. “I don’t really care who’s on the other side of the cage. I sign up to fight, and there’s a show and a win bonus, and that motivates me. I like doing this, but I really feel that I was screwed in this fight with the rules. But I don’t really care about a rematch. I think I looked great in there against him.”
Struve has gone 1-4 in his last five fights, as he holds a record of 29-12 (with 26 wins by stoppage).