Stefan Struve speaks out on controversial loss to Ben Rothwell

Stefan Struve

Over the weekend, on the main card of the UFC’s latest stop in Washington, D.C., towering heavyweight veteran Stefan Struve returned to the cage opposite Ben Rothwell.

Rothwell ultimately defeated Struve with a vicious volley of second-round punches. Unfortunately, this stoppage was somewhat overshadowed by the two devastating low blows Rothwell landed earlier in the fight.

These low blows — which certainly seemed to be inadvertent — were so severe that Struve took multiple minutes to recover each time. Rothwell was also deducted a point for his fouls.

Early on Monday morning, Struve took to Twitter to discuss this controversial loss. While he does not believe Rothwell landed these illegal strikes intentionally, he’s adamant that they changed the course of the fight.

“I don’t complain about the stoppage,” Struve wrote. “I’m frustrated that 2 (unintentional) illegal blows take away my focus in a fight that I was clearly controlling and winning, and because of that I miss out on a big win bonus.”

“Whatever you throw you are responsible for,” Struve continued. “Ben knows I don’t blame him because I told him, I believe he had no intention of landing them where they landed. Doesn’t change anything about the result of those kicks tho, they still changed the entire course of the fight.”

Struve continued, adding that a No Contest would have been a more fitting result for the fight.

“No it would have been a no contest,” Struve responded to a fan. “2 full rounds need to be fought in order to go to a technical decision. So if it happened in the 3rd, it would’ve been different. All of this doesn’t matter tho, my point is just how frustrated I am because I was doing great until the low blows.”

Former UFC fighter Elvis Sinosic also chimed in on the issue, scolding the referee for encouraging Stefan Struve to continue fighting — rather than focusing on the Dutchman’s safety — after the second low blow. He also feels a No Contest would have bee a more fitting outcome, and encouraged Struve to appeal the loss.

Struve, however, doesn’t seem too interested in an appeal.

“The Ref should NEVER have tried to convince you to continue,” Sinosic wrote. “His job is control the fight and make sure the combatants are ok. As soon as he did that he gave grounds for an appeal. I hope you appeal this loss. It should be a no-contest.”

“But I don’t care about no contest, dq or whatever,” Struve replied. “People that have seen the fight, saw who was in control. I care about the fact that I did everything I had 2 and more 2 win but now are left with empty hands.”

What did you think of the fight between Stefan Struve and Ben Rothwell?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/9/2019.