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

Luis Santos cleared to train, expects September return against Ben Askren

  • 11 days ago
  • 2 views

Ben Askren’s first title defense at ONE Championship ended in a no-contest after "Funky" poked Luis Santos in the eye in the first round, and the rematch is on the way. Santos, who had his right corn read news >>

Stefan Struve believes he can submit Big Nog, promises to 'break' him in front of home crowd

  • 11 days ago
  • 2 views

Stefan Struve intends to use his long limbs to keep Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira out of the danger zone in their fight at UFC 190, and he believes he can submit the black belt. Stefan Struve hasn't won a read news >>

Coach: 'Heartbroken' Jose Aldo in 'deep pain,' benched three months if not cleared for UFC 189

  • 12 days ago
  • 28 views

Jose Aldo still wants to fight Conor McGregor. But even if the spirit is willing, the flesh may be weak, as the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion must first clear a read news >>

‘Heartbroken’ Jose Aldo likely out until October if not cleared to fight at UFC 189

  • 12 days ago
  • 106 views

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo "is in deep pain", but wants to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 189. News broke on Wednesday that the Nova Uniao star has broken his rib during a sparring session in read news >>

Tito Ortiz: I've cleared a spot for Liam McGeary's Bellator title

  • 15 days ago
  • 3 views

ST. LOUIS – Bellator light heavyweight Tito Ortiz has a space in his office for all of his belts. Of course, all of them are from the UFC. Now he’s trying to add a Bellator title to his collection.Fi read news >>

Video: Dan Hardy wants 'Cowboy' Cerrone, K.J. Noons or Diego Sanchez in comeback fight

  • 19 days ago
  • 37 views

"The Outlaw" plans to be cleared by the doctors by end of 2015, reveals his top-three wished for an opponent. Sidelined by the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a disorder of the heart's electrical sys read news >>

UFC 190: Stefan Struve planning first-round knockout of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Brazil

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

"Skyscraper" won't be wasting any time when he locks horns against a man he loved watching compete as a kid. Looking to right his ship and stop the bleeding of a two-fight losing streak, Stefan Struv read news >>