Longtime UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts competition.
Struve, 32, announced his retirement on social media on Monday morning, citing health issues that will prevent him from fighting.
“I was able to take my space and time the last couple of months to overthink this, so this time it really is for good,” Struve said, referencing a previous retirement announcement (h/t MMA Fighting). “I’ve had an inner ear issue I’ve been battling since May last year. I caught a viral infection that has damaged my vestibular system and the hearing nerve in my right ear. After new tests done recently we learned that the vestibular system is not working properly, the first conclusion in May was that it was most likely [Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo].
“Because of this I have also been dealing with vertigo issues, and also loss of hearing and tinnitus, a ringing noise in my ear,” Struve continued. “After I caught it in May things got a lot better, after a couple rough weeks at first. I was doing good although still experiencing some vertigo and other minor issues but my idea was, especially with the doctors telling me the issues would go away after a while, to just keep going and ignore it until it really was gone completely. Unfortunately during [my most recent] fight some of the issues came back after getting hit flush on the right ear, it was a punch that should not be an issue normally.
“After that fight I was having more issues again and the doctors scheduled new tests,” Struve continued. “Those, unfortunately for me, took a long time to happen because of the lockdown over here in the Netherlands. After these tests I was told the damage in the ear and the vestibular issues caused by the viral infection I’d been dealing with are most likely permanent. I have no big issues when I’m just doing my everyday things and, or, training on a normal level to be healthy and in shape.
“The extreme intensity I have put my body through in training camp to get ready for fights I can’t do anymore,” Struve continued. “At this juncture, I realize that it’s time to hang up the gloves for good, and my put my health and family first. I’ve had a long career and battled through multiple injuries, including a broken jaw and my heart condition. Pushing forward and training hard without listening to my body would be asking for real trouble in my opinion.”
Stefan Struve has been fighting for the UFC 2009. During that time, he’s amassed a promotional record of 13-11, beating the likes of Pat Barry, Stipe Miocic, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Daniel Omielanczuk. He’ll hang up the gloves with an overall record of 29-13.