Stefan Struve topped hometown hero Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on the main card at UFC 190 in Rio de Janiero on Saturday.
Struve outworked Nogueira for a majority of the 15-minute bout, earning a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 across the judges’ panel.
Nogueira tied the Dutch fighter up in the early moments in the fight. Struve was able to break away a few times, and he landed some power punches that wobbled the former Pride champ. But as Nogueira closed distance, he was able to land strikes in the pocket.
In the second round, Struve applied more front kicks on his opponent’s mid section. He also caught Nogueira with punches while keeping a distance for some of the round, but the Brazilian was still able to find his way into the pocket and land short punches a number of times.
Struve was better able to utilize the jab in the third and final round, as well as land a solid head kick. Nogueira shot in for takedowns, but couldn’t keep the 7-footer on the ground long enough to capitalize on the position.
With the win in Rio, Struve snaps a two-fight losing streak and picks up his first win since 2012.