UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve will be making his return to the Octagon this Saturday. After suffering a broken jaw against Mark Hunt, it was detected that ‘The Skyscraper’ had a leaky aortic valve, and blood was leaking back into his heart, leading to Struve’s body only getting about 70% of the blood it needs, causing fatigue and high blood pressure, which could have led to an enlarged heart and ultimately heart failure.
Struve talked about his comeback with MMAJunkie today.
“It’s a win in and of itself to be back,”
After a long journey back that called for a change in Struve’s diet, blood pressure medication, and a change to his workout plan, Dr. Scott Davis wrote to the NSAC:
“The fact that he has a good performance on his stress tests, (and) the degree of leaking of the valve doesn’t look as bad, that bodes well. The flip side is there’s nothing normal about the guy’s aortic valve, and 26-year-olds just don’t have leaky valves.
“Does it mean he’s going to have a bad outcome in the ring? No. This just needs to be followed very closely.”
Struve himself isn’t currently worried about the problem, saying:
“I’m just as fit and healthy as every other fighter in the UFC,”
“We know it’s getting better, but how long is my heart going to let me compete at this level? I’m not going to take risks with it,” Struve says. “If (surgery is) the way we have to go, then that’s the way we have to go.
“Right now, this makes me happy. But going in there knowing that something is not working properly … that would make the fun go away, you know what I mean?”
UFC 175 takes place this Saturday, July 5th, and is headlined by Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida. Struve will face Matt Mitrione on the card.