UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve is only 25 years old but the seven-foot Dutchman very well could be at the end of his career. While Struve certainly wants to keep competing, he was recently diagnosed with a serious medical matter involving a leaking aortic valve and enlarged heart. However, “The Skyscraper” remains confident he’ll be able to overcome the issue and resume his passion at some point in the future.
“I don’t feel a thing about the condition. I’ve had it my entire life,” stated Struve on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “That’s the crazy thing. I’ve been fighting my entire career with a heart that’s only working at 70%.”
Struve went on to explain doctors discovered the problem when he went in for routine testing after struggling to get over the flu while training for a fight. Now, with a team of professionals addressing the situation, Struve believes he’s on the path to recovery and ultimately living a long, productive life as a result.
“The first day they said, ‘We’ll have to check this out, but your career is pretty much over.’ But I don’t believe this thing that I’ve had my entire life will end my career. There are still a couple of question marks,” said Struve.
The 25-6 Struve concluded by assuring fans the UFC was also helping out both financially and in terms of bringing in top cardiologists, admitting he could have to undergo open heart surgery but wasn’t resigned to the possibility, adding, “With medication, they’re trying to lower the blood pressure and get the leakage to become less than it has been, trying to get it back to 90 percent.”
Struve expects to receive an update on his immediate future when he goes back for testing in early October.