UFC Heavyweight Stefan Struve Diagnosed with Leaking Aortic Valve and Englarged Heart

August 21, 2013

Stefan Struve UFC 107 Post PresserUFC heavyweight Stefan Struve has been diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve, as well as an enlarged heart, leaving his fighting career in jeopardy, according to a report from UFC Tonight on Tuesday.

Struve was in the hospital late last month. He has been given medication and been sent home to rest for the next eight weeks.  Apparently, Struve has two leaflets in his aortic valve – the general population has three.

If the medication has not helped after the eight weeks are up, he may have to opt for open-heart surgery.  It is unclear at this time if the seven-footer will ever be able to compete in the Octagon again.

This comes at an unsettling time for the Dutchman as the 25-year-old was just entering his fighting prime.  Having gone 4-1 in his last five fights with two Submission of the Night bonuses and a Fight of the Night bonus to his credit, the kickboxing standout was just starting to find his grove inside the world’s premier fighting organization.

“Skyscraper” has amassed 13 fights in the UFC since debuting at UFC 95 in 2009. Over that time, he has become one of the company’s longest-tenured heavyweights, despite his young age.  Now, with this unfortunate news, the MMA community is left wondering if the once-promising striker will ever get his chance to fight again.

Struve’s manager, Lex McMahon, passed along the following statement to the UFC Tonight crew:

Stefan is optimistic about the eventual outcome and fully plans on living a long, healthy, active, happy life and eventually returning to competition and his quest to become the UFC heavyweight champion.

“Stefan wants to thank all the fans who have supported him thus far, as well as Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta for immediately getting engaged with this issue and providing Stefan access to the best possible medical care.”

The news comes as an absolute shock to the fighting community.  The massive striker has endeared himself to fans in a short amount of time with his aggressive fighting style and tough-as-nails approach.

This news is unfortunate, however, modern advances in medicine are happening every day, and Struve remains hopeful that he’ll be back in the Octagon once again.

(Follow @RyanMcKinnell on Twitter)

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