UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve announces retirement

UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve on Monday announced his retirement. It’s the second time he’s done so, but this time he insists it is for good.

“I was contacted by the UFC last week for a fight. However, I’ve decided it’s time to retire from fighting.”

At one time streaking toward a heavyweight title shot, Struve has been struggling with health issues for the majority of his UFC tenure.

In 2013, doctors discovered that Struve was suffering from a leaking aortic valve and enlarged heart. He was able to manage the condition and return to fighting, but has struggled to find continued success in the Octagon.

Struve briefly retired in early 2019, following a Performance of the Night victory over Marcos Rogerio de Lima. He later admitted that he wasn’t ready to retire and fought twice more, losing to Ben Rothwell and Tai Tuivasa.

Health issues continue to plague Stefan Struve

Now, dealing with an inner ear issue, Struve has taken his time to think things through, ultimately deciding to call it quits.

“I was able to take my space and time the last couple of months to overthink this, so this time it really is for good,” he wrote on Instagram.

“At this juncture, I realize that it’s time to hang up the gloves for good, and my put my health and family first.”


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Stefan Struve’s retirement statement

“I was able to take my space and time the last couple of months to overthink this, so this time it really is for good. I’ve had an inner ear issue I’ve been battling since May last year. I caught a viral infection that has damaged my vestibular system and the hearing nerve in my right ear. After new tests done recently, we learned that the vestibular system is not working properly, the first conclusion in May was that it was most likely BPPV [benign paroxysmal positional vertigo]. 

“Because of this I have also been dealing with vertigo issues, and also loss of hearing and tinnitus, a ringing noise in my ear. After I caught it in May things got a lot better, after a couple rough weeks at first. I was doing good although still experiencing some vertigo and other minor issues but my idea was, especially with the doctors telling me the issues would go away after a while, to just keep going and ignore it until it really was gone completely. Unfortunately during [my most recent] fight some of the issues came back after getting hit flush on the right ear, it was a punch that should not be an issue normally. 

“After that fight I was having more issues again and the doctors scheduled new tests. Those, unfortunately for me, took a long time to happen because of the lockdown over here in the Netherlands. After these tests, I was told the damage in the ear and the vestibular issues caused by the viral infection I’d been dealing with are most likely permanent. I have no big issues when I’m just doing my everyday things and/or training on a normal level to be healthy and in shape. 

“The extreme intensity I have put my body through in training camp to get ready for fights I can’t do anymore. At this juncture, I realize that it’s time to hang up the gloves for good, and my put my health and family first. I’ve had a long career and battled through multiple injuries, including a broken jaw and my heart condition. Pushing forward and training hard without listening to my body would be asking for real trouble in my opinion.”


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