Stefan Struve Has A Heart Condition That Could End His UFC Career


Bad news has emerged about the well-liked UFC heavyweight fighter Stefan ‘Skyscraper’ Struve as he’s been diagnosed with a heart condition which could bring an end to his career.

Doctor’s have diagnosed Struve with both an enlarged heart and a leaking aortic valve which lead to him being hospitalized for further tests.¬† He’s currently been prescribed medication and doctor’s will assess how that works before making a decision on what comes next for him.

It’s been a tough time for the Dutchman in the past year, with his dad being diagnosed with cancer while inside the cage he suffered a broken jaw against Mark Hunt in March that’s resulted in a long layoff.

Prior to that Struve had been enjoying the best run of his UFC career, stringing together four victories in a row, edging closer to a potential tile shot in the process.

Struve isn’t the first high-profile UFC fighter to be diagnosed with a heart defect in recent times – Dan Hardy’s career could also be at an end after doctors discovered last year that he had a potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat last year.

It’d be a great shame if he had to hang up his gloves at such a young age, but of course his health has to come first and if there was any potential risk in him continuing to compete then it’s unlikely he’d be granted permission by doctor’s to step back into the cage.

Whatever happens we’d like to take this opportunity to wish Stefan all the very best for the future.

Read a full statement from Struve’s manager Lex Mcmahaon about the fighters condition and what comes next 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.”


Over the years I've watched the UFC develop into the powerhouse it is today, organizations like PRIDE, Strikeforce and WEC rise and fall, and Bellator emerge as a new force on the MMA landscape. Throughout it all I've remained captivated by the sport and I'm excited to cover what comes next here on MMA Insight.