Stefan Struve put a bright new spin on his career trajectory this past weekend when he ended a bumpy run with a 16-second knockout win over Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva at UFC Fight Night 87.

“I really needed a win like this after three hard years,” Struve said at the post-fight press conference. “I knew this was going to happen sometime soon. This was the training camp. This is what happened in the gym. We knew that he was going to do this, and it played out perfectly.”

“I just told myself, ‘Just keep fighting. You fought your heart issue. You won. If you lose a fight, that’s not the end of everything.’ And now I’m back,” added the delighted Dutchman. “This is what I was waiting for and this was going to happen. I knew it would, and here we are.”

Looking ahead, Struve knows he still has some way to go before he’s challenging the top contenders for a shot at the belt. But he is now more optimistic than ever, and looks like he might have a few old adversaries in his sights.

“A lot is going to happen in the coming weeks in the heavyweight division,” Struve said. “I need to heal up my hands and see how long that’s going to take, but there are plenty of good options and plenty of cool rematches for me, guys who beat me when I was very young. I don’t think they’d beat me anymore.”

With losses to Roy Nelson, Travis Browne and Mark Hunt on his record, Struve certainly isn’t wrong in thinking there are some exciting rematch prospects out there for him.