US PRESSWIRE Sports

(This story first appeared in Tuesday’s USA TODAY.)

ABU DHABI – A career once thought to be jeopardized by a rare heart condition is now ready to begin again.

UFC heavyweight contender Stefan Struve (25-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) said doctors have cleared him to return to action, and he’s ready to schedule his next appearance.

“I’m just working on the last details with the UFC right now for my clearance,” Struve told USA TODAY Sports. “They’ve got everything — my doctor’s letter, medical files and everything. Everything is there, and we’re just waiting on the UFC to do their thing.”

Struve is in Abu Dhabi as a guest fighter to help promote Friday’s “UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson” event at du Arena, which streams on UFC Fight Pass (11:30 a.m. ET).

Struve, a 26-year-old Dutchman, was diagnosed in August with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart.

While the 7-footer expects to have surgery at some point to completely correct the issue, doctors first recommended medicine to bring down his blood pressure in hopes of finding a less invasive fix for the time being.

“The chamber where the aortic valve is connected is the left chamber of your heart, and that chamber was a lot bigger than it was supposed to be,” Struve said. “A lot of that was the high blood pressure. Now they treated me for it with blood pressure medicine, and it got smaller.

“Because of that, the opening where the valve is got smaller, too. Normally, when the chamber gets bigger, like often happens with athletes, the valve gets bigger, too, so that it closes.

“But in my case, the opening got bigger and the valve didn’t grow, so the leakage got worse and worse. But now, it’s smaller again and the valve closes better.”

With his blood flow now normalized, Struve hopes to get the UFC’s blessing to return this month and then plans on booking a fight as quickly as possible.

“I want to fight,” Struve said. “I’m ready to go into a training camp. I can be ready in two or three months.”

The UFC’s tallest fighter, nicknamed “Skyscraper,” Struve has resumed a regular training regimen and is excited to turn up the intensity. And perhaps most important, Struve believes with his condition treated, he’ll actually be better when he returns than he was before the diagnosis.

“My body was only functioning at 60 or 70 percent,” Struve said. “Because of that, my body was way more prone to viruses and all that, so I got sick a lot. It was horrible. But I’m back.

“I left a year behind me that was the most difficult year of my life, but now I’m here. I’m back, and I want to fight. I want to show that I’m one of the best heavyweights in the world. I really feel like I’ve got another shot at all of this and I’m better than I’ve ever been.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, including UFC Fight Night 39, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

One year after shocking knockout, Johnny Eduardo finally cleared to fight

  • a day ago
  • 55 views

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Johnny Eduardo shocked the world last May by knocking out Eddie Wineland in the first round, but since has been sidelined with injuries. The Nova Uniao bantamweight, who has only fo read news >>

Full Fight Flashback Video: Mark Hunt Shatters Stefan Struve’s Jaw

  • 13 days ago
  • 6 views

Dangerous heavyweights Mark "The Super Samoan" Hunt and Stefan Struve stood and banged inside the Octagon at UFC Fight Night in Saitama, Japan. read news >>

Report: Jimi Manuwa tore his ACL and MCL, was still cleared to fight Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 64

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 views

More impressed by his unanimous decision now? With so many fighters consistently getting injured in training and pulling out of fights, it is quite difficult for mixed martial arts (MMA) fans to get read news >>

Big Nog says he will fight Stefan Struve in Rio at UFC 190

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira said on TV he will come back to Rio de Janeiro once again to face Stefan Struve at UFC 190 in a battle of struggling heavyweights. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira won't get his tril read news >>

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Stefan Struve Fight Announced for UFC 190

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will return to action with a heavyweight bout against Stefan Struve at UFC 190. The organisation's news feed on Twitter provided confirmation: Minotauro hasn't won a fight si read news >>

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Stefan Struve Set for UFC 190 in Brazil

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Heavyweights Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Stefan Struve will meet at UFC 190, officials announced on Tuesday. read news >>

Minotauro Nogueira vs Stefan Struve fight set for UFC 190 in Brazil on Aug. 1

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Interim Heavyweight Champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, will return to the Octagon to battle Stefan Struve in a match set for UFC 190, a pay-per-view (PPV) read news >>

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira booked for fight with Stefan Struve at UFC 190 in Brazil

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

For just the second time, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will join his brother on a UFC fight card. Filed under: Featured, MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira meets Stefan Struve at UFC 190

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

A heavyweight clash between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Stefan Struve was added to UFC 190. "Minotauro", who replaced Anderson Silva as one of the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4, announc read news >>