Thursday, January 14, 2010
Roy "Big Country" Nelson vs. Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve Booked For UFN 21, March 21st
As their cage names suggest, Roy "Big Country" Nelson (14-4) and Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve (19-3) are both extremely large human beings. However, in terms of their actual physical proportions, the two stand-out UFC heavyweights could not be more different. Nevertheless, they will clash at Ultimate Fight Night 21 on March 21st.
The show is set to air live on Spike TV and will serve as the lead-in event to the eleventh season of the UFC's long-running reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. The opposing coaches this time out will be octagon legends Tito Ortiz (15-7-1) and Chuck Liddell (21-7).
At 6'11'' tall, a full three inches taller than Tim Sylvia (25-6), "Skyscraper" is the tallest fighter on the UFC roster. At just twenty-one years of age, Struve is still coming into his own as a fighter, which is scary because he has already managed to compile a three-fight UFC winning streak-- no easy feat in the modern HW division. Struve's last victory came via a somewhat controversial majority decision over Paul "The Headhunter" Buentello (27-11) at last month's UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez. When Struve learns to fully utilize his incredible length for striking, his stand-up skills should catch up to his formidable ground-game, which has already enabled the young Dutchman to score fourteen career submissions.
Staring up at Struve from across the octagon, the 6' tall, 265+lb. "Big Country" Nelson, with his enormous gut in tow, will certainly appear over-matched. However, UFC fans know enough by now not to be fooled by Nelson's appearance. His victory over fan-favourite "Kimbo Slice"(4-1) and near-flawless run through TUF 10's field of heavyweights is the stuff of octagon lore. His sudden KO victory over Brendan Shaub (4-1) should have convinced any remaining doubters that the "fat guy" definitely can fight. In fact, "Big Country," who is a BJJ black belt, regularly uses his gut offensively to pin his opponents to the canvas while he improves his position or rains down blows. One wonders if he'll ever realease a combination reverse-diet book and BJJ instructional guide.
There is just no denying the inherent comic value in Nelson vs. Struve, so we might as well embrace it well before UFN 21 arrives. It will be sort of like if the Mario Brothers finally squared-off, or if Abbot had finally gotten tired of Costello's antics and just punched him in the kisser.