The UFC’s first trip to the Valley just got a whole lot bigger. Literally.
On Wednesday night, the UFC announced a heavyweight matchup between Alistair Overeem and Stefan Struve had officially been added to UFC on FOX 13 in Phoenix.
Overeem (37-14), a former K-1, Dream and Strikeforce champion, will be looking to get his career back on track after suffering a first-round knockout loss to Ben Rothwell in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 50. This stunning upset gave ‘The Reem’ losses in three of his last four fights, with all of them coming by way of knockout. It is essentially do-or-die for the hulking Dutch striker as another loss could very well mean the end to a rather disappointing UFC career.
Struve (25-6), on the other hand, has not competed inside an octagon since suffering a violent knockout loss to Mark Hunt at UFC on Fuel TV in March 2013. Since then, seven-foot striker has been on the sidelines dealing with a heart condition that nearly ended his career. He was scheduled to make his return against Matt Mitrione at UFC 175 until a panic attack just hours before the fight forced him to withdraw from the bout.
A second fight was also added to the card as Derek Brunson meets Ed Herman in a middleweight bout.
Brunson (12-3), a three-time Division II All-American wrestler, is coming off decision victory over Lorenz Larkin at UFC 177. Prior to this victory, fans saw Brunson’s two-fight win streak snapped at the hands of former Olympic wrestling silver medalist Yoel Romero at UFC Fight Night 35.
Herman (22-10), a contestant on season three of The Ultimate Fighter, has traded wins and losses over four fights. His most recent performance was a unanimous decision victory over Rafael Natal at UFC Fight Night 40.
UFC on FOX 13 is currently scheduled to take place on Dec. 13 at US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix. While a main event for the card has yet to be announced, a heavyweight matchup between former champion Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic has been linked to the card.
Here’s how the rest of the card is shaping up:
- Alistair Overem vs. Stefan Struve
- Jamie Varner vs. Drew Dober
- Derek Brunson vs. Ed Herman