One of the brightest young heavyweights in Mixed Martial Arts may have fought for the last time, as a report on UFC Tonight confirmed Stefan Struve is sidelined indefinitely due to a heart condition. Specifically, Struve has a leaking aortic valve and enlarged heart. He will take medicine over the next few months in hopes of treating the issue but could need open-heart surgery in the end.
Struve has expressed hope he will ultimately resume his UFC career though clearly his status will be up in the air for some time.
The 25-year old Struve is 25-6 in his career with 23 stoppages including sixteen submissions and seven TKOs. He owns notable victories over the likes of Lavar Johnson, Pat Barry, and Stipe Miocic.
A detailed statement from Struve’s manager courtesy of MMAFighting can be found below:
“Stefan Struve has recently been diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart and was hospitalized for a week to undergo testing to determine the best course of treatment. The doctors found that Stefan has a bicuspid aortic valve, wich means that his aortic valve only has two leaflets, instead of three.
The aortic valve regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta, the major blood vessel that brings blood to the body. In combination with the enlarged heart it causes his heart to only pump 70 percent of the blood into the aorta and then the rest of his body, and the remaining 30 percent ends up back in the heart chamber. After consulting experts in both Holland and the United States, it was decided to treat the condition with medication for the next two months and asses the effectiveness of that treatment protocol. After those 2 months, the doctors will have an answer on what the best treatment options are.
At the direction of his doctors, Stefan has now been released from the hospital and has resumed light cardiovascular exercise. Stefan fully appreciates the significance of the condition he has been diagnosed with, however, he is optimistic about the eventual outcome and fully plans on living a long, healthy, active, happy life and eventually returning to competition in the octagon for his quest to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Stefan loves the UFC and plans on being involved with company as a fighter and ambassador for years to come. Stefan wants to thank all the fans who have supported him thus far in his career as well as the UFC, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, Joe Silva, Dr. Jeff Davidson, the entire staff of the UFC, and his fellow fighters for affording him the opportunity to compete on the biggest stage of the sport of MMA, as well as a tremendous degree of support during this trying time. In particular Stefan wants to thank Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, & Joe Silva for immediately getting engaged with this issue and providing Stefan access to the best possible medical care. Stefan will be sharing his experiences as he deals with this medical condition in the hopes that he can serve as a role model by helping to create awareness and inspire others to fight through adversity.”
Front-Page Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports