UFC Fight Night 87 will go down as one of the most memorable evenings in Stefan Struve’s career.
The giant heavyweight from the Netherlands got a hero’s welcome from the sellout crowd in Rotterdam on May 8, then went out and finished Antonio Silva in a mere 16 seconds.
“This was absolutely amazing,” Struve said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “The chants, the way the arena exploded when the Dutch fighters walked out. Everything. I felt so great, it was absolutely amazing.”
But it was also marked the end of a roller-coaster week for the Blackzilians fighter, as it came just days after his teammate, Bellator competitor Jordan Parsons. Parsons died, several days after he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Delray Beach, Fla., who has since been apprehended by authorities.
Struve gave a memorable tribute to Parsons during his post-fight interview as he wore a black armband adorned with Parsons’ initials.
“We decided to pay a tribute to him this way,” Struve said. “I think everybody appreciated that. I heard his mother really appreciated that. I’m happy I was able to do something like that for him, because he really was an amazing person, just great energy every day.”
It was a mental challenge for Struve in trying to stay focused on the fight, as he did not find out about the accident until arriving in the Netherlands, then had to keep abreast of developments from afar.
“It was a roller coaster,” Struve said. “I flew out on Friday. Then on Sunday I got the news that he got hit by a car. But I didn’t know at that point how bad it was. They told me they had to amputate his leg, and that’s horrible, but then there’s life after fighting, so if I had to ….View full article
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