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.
From Around the Web

Related News

Mayweather vs Pacquiao tickets: Ronda Rousey needs to beat Cat Zingano at UFC 184 to afford 'super fight' price

  • 28 days ago
  • 42 views

Ronda Rousey has extra incentive to beat Cat Zingano this weekend (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015) at UFC 184 in Los Angeles, California. Aside from keeping her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bant read news >>

UFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano - Idiot's Guide Preview to Tony Ferguson vs. Gleison Tibau

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

David Castillo breaks down the lightweight matchup to open the UFC 184 card in LA involving two of the most stout fighters in the division. Two lightweights, both potential immortals, figure out thei read news >>

Alan Jouban discusses how he balances his budding modeling and fighting careers

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

LOS ANGELES -- Alan Jouban talks about his UFC 184 fight against Richard Walsh, getting robbed of a victory in his last fight, balancing his modeling and fighting careers, his thoughts on Anderson Si read news >>

Raquel Pennington Ready to Derail Holly Holm's Hype Train at UFC 184

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Raquel "Rocky" Pennington knows she's fighting an uphill battle at UFC 184, but it's the opportunity she's been waiting for. While the Colorado native will appear in the co-main event slot opposite o read news >>

UFC 184 Staredown Video: Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano's Intense Faceoff | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 9 views

Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano may have a healthy respect for each other, but their staredown on Thursday was intense! read news >>

UFC 184 complete fighter breakdown, 'Rowdy' Ronda Rousey edition

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

MMAmania.com resident fighter analyst Andrew Richardson breaks down the mixed martial arts (MMA) game of UFC 184 headliner Ronda Rousey, who looks to defend her title once again this Saturday (Feb. 2 read news >>

Watch: Rousey shows off armbar transitions & improved boxing in open workout highlights

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

The UFC women's bantamweight champion gave a pretty extensive open workout to fans ahead of UFC 184, check out the highlights. read news >>

Women's MMA Report: Reneau shocks Andrade, four advance in Deep Jewels GP

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

From a big upset to the latest UFC bookings to KSW and Deep Jewels results, Robert Sargent discusses it all in our latest Women’s MMA Report.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Johny Hendricks off the Dolce diet for UFC 185

  • 29 days ago
  • 74 views

Despite recent weight cutting troubles, the former welterweight champion will not be working with the UFC's diet guru for his upcoming fight against "The Immortal" Matt Brown. Proper diet, nutrition, read news >>