The UFC returned to England for the first time this year with UFC on FUEL TV 5: Struve vs. Miocic, which took place in the city of Nottingham. Stefan Struve defeated
Stipe Miocic by knockout in the main event of the evening while Dan Hardy picked up a unanimous decision win in his hometown against Amir Sadollah in the co-main event of the evening.
Aside from the main event, finishes were the theme of the night as seven of the 11 bouts on the card ended inside the distance. The high points of the undercard were Jimi Manuwa’s destruction of Kyle Kingsbury in his UFC debut, Matt Wiman’s shocking submission of Paul Sass and Brad Pickett’s knockout of Yves Jabouin.
Catch my UFC on FUEL TV 5: Struve vs. Miocic post-fight thoughts and analysis for the main card below.
- The main event of UFC on FUEL TV 5 in Nottingham saw Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve win his fourth consecutive fight by knockout or submission when he put Stipe Miocic away with strikes at the 3:50 mark of the second round. The heavyweights put on an absolutely slobberknocker in the event headliner with each man absorbing significant blows until the Dutchman finished Miocic off in devastating fashion. Struve used his reach and power to pick up the win and at just 24-years of ago, this heavyweight is only going to get better.
- Dan Hardy made the fans in his hometown of Nottingham proud, defeating Amir Sadollah by unanimous decision in the co-main event of the night. “The Outlaw” may not have picked up a knockout win, but he did show a solid addition to his skill set when he took Sadollah to the ground on multiple occasions, something we have not seen from Hardy in the past. The real story coming out of the fight is the fact Hardy pushed his win-streak to two after going on a career worst four-fight losing streak. It seems the British fighter has all of his confidence back and is adding new wrinkles to his game. He may not ever be world champion, but Hardy fights hard every time and will be a staple of the UFC welterweight division for years to come.
- Brad Pickett lived up to his nickname of “One Punch” when he viciously knocked out Yves Jabouin with an uppercut in the first round of their bantamweight affair. The two fighters stood toe-to-toe from the opening bell until Pickett landed the picture perfect strike to the chin of Jabouin, knocking him out cold. The British fighter has now won back-to-back, finishing both of his opponents. Pickett is proving to be a lethal force at 135-pounds and with a few more wins a shot at UFC gold could be within his sights.
- Matt Wiman has the most shocking finish of the night when he submitted submission specialist Paul Sass in the first round with an armbar. Coming into the fight with an undefeated record, Sass was hyped for his unstoppable grappling arsenal that other fighters should fear. Wiman had no fear of the Brit’s ground game, though, as the fight took place entirely on the ground with Wiman going after Sass with submission attempts of his own until he finally finished the fight with the armbar. If there’s someone out there who predicted Wiman to win by first round submission, you deserve a round of applause. No one saw that coming.
- The lone fight on the UFC on FUEL TV 5 card that pitted two British fighters against one another was a welterweight contest between John Hathaway and John Maguire. Hathaway picked up a lopsided decision win, but the fight was not one people will be looking to watch for a second time. The two fighters said in the lead-up to the event that they were friends and were not excited to fight each other – judging from the lulls in action and lack of aggression over the course of the 15-minutes, it seemed they had no desire to be in the cage together. Neither man was sitting down on their strikes and really trying for the finish, it was far too tentative of a contest and everyone watching could tell. Here’s hoping the UFC finds a more rousing opponent for “The Hitman” to face next.
- The opening fight of the FUEL TV broadcast ended in anticlimactic fashion when Duane Ludwig suffered a knee injury part way through the first round, forcing referee Herb Dean to stop the contest and awarding Che Mills the win by TKO. The injury occurred when Mills went for a takedown and Ludwig dropped to his back and immediately pointed to his knee. Prior to the injury, Mills was dominating the action with quicker strikes on the feet and superior control on the ground. Ludwig suffers his sixth loss in his past nine fights while Mills pushes his UFC record to 2-1, even though the win didn’t come under the circumstances the Brit would have liked.