Stefan Struve's controversial KO loss to Ben Rothwell at UFC on ESPN 7 was the subject of widespread speculation in the aftermath of the event. Struve returned to the Octagon after a 10-month hiatus and lost via KO under controversial circumstances.
After the loss, Struve is left feeling a little bitter thanks to the two illegal kicks to the groin he endured during his fight against Rothwell. Speaking to MMA Fighting, Struve claimed that although he doesn't bear any grudges against his opponent, the repeated low blows did affect his performance.
“I don’t hold any animosity against Ben, because I don’t think he threw those kicks on purpose. Even if it wasn’t intentional, they did their due and the fight changed completely in my opinion, after those shots. You get kind of screwed by the rules in my opinion, you need to be protected more.”
When he was hit with the low blow during the fight, referee Dan Miragliotta told Struve that he was ahead on the judges' scorecards and that was the reason why he chose to continue.
“He said, ‘You’re probably ahead on the scorecards,’ which I knew for sure especially after he took the point away. I won the first round 10-9 easily, the second round I won 10-9 too and then after that deduction it was 10-8. Rothwell was down 20-17 at that point, so he had to go all out. The bad news for me is I was recovering, trying to get my breathing going again, and he was recovering while he was fresh.”
Struve isn't interested in a rematch
While the low blows may have cost him the fight, Struve clarified that he is not looking for a rematch against Rothwell because he believes he showed who the better fighter was.
“I don’t really care who’s on the other side of the cage. I sign up to fight, and there’s a show and a win bonus, and that motivates me. But I don’t really care about a rematch. I think I looked great in there against him. The things that happened don’t really make me want to have a rematch. It doesn’t really make sense to me to have a rematch because of that.”Published 11 Dec 2019, 19:42 IST