The heavyweight headliner appears to be on ice, as Brazilian outlet Combate reported on Thursday that Struve has suffered a shoulder injury that forced him out of the bout. A representative of Struve’s camp confirmed the injury to MMAFighting.com.
“[Struve] is having surgery tomorrow morning to repair an injury to his shoulder,” the unidentified representative said. “He is very disappointed and looks forward to returning to competition as soon as possible.”
It has been nearly a year since dos Santos (18-4) last fought, earning a unanimous decision victory over Ben Rothwell in Croatia. He was out of action for a few months following the fight due to a shoulder surgery of his own, and has since had trouble landing an opponent. Finding someone to replace Struve, especially on short notice, may prove difficult.
The injury is surely a disappointment for Struve, who had finally regained the career momentum that he lost a few years ago while dealing with a serious heart condition.
UFC officials had not yet confirmed the bout’s status or hinted at a possible replacement as of the time of publication.