Former UFC heavyweight contender Stefan Struve promised that his retirement from MMA is final, vowing that he’s “not going to fight anymore.”
Struve announced this week that he is stepping away from the sport immediately, officially confirming he is hanging up his gloves after making the decision with his team and family. Struve cited numerous health and injury issues as the reason for his retirement, though his recent form no doubt played a role in him deciding to retire. Prior to announcing that he is walking away from MMA, Struve had lost five of his last six fights. His last loss to Tai Tuivasa was especially brutal as he was knocked out at the end of the first round.
Only 32 years old, Struve has suffered nine knockout losses in his MMA career dating back to 2005. There were some nasty knockouts over the years in the UFC, including brutal defeats to Mark Hunt, Roy Nelson, Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem Alexander Volkov, and Ben Rothwell, to name just some. It’s saving his brain and his body as he gets older that is the reason why Struve says his retirement is permanent. Speaking to MMAFighting.com, Struve vowed to never step into the cage ever again.
“You’re never going to see me in a cage again. I’m not going to fight anymore. I made that decision and everything always revolved around me and now I have my little man to worry about. I want him to grow up with a dad. I already have some issues, which I’m perfectly able to live with. I can do everything I want. I can still train, just at a lower level,” Struve said.
“But if I keep going and ask the extreme things of my body that I’ve asked it to do for the last 15, 16, 17 years, I’m going to ask for real trouble. I really want to be healthy and just live a good life. Fighting on the highest level just can’t be a part of that anymore, unfortunately. I’m happy with what I achieved in my career.”
There are many MMA fighters who retired only to come back a few years later. Even legendary pioneer fighters such as Chuck Liddell and Royce Gracie came back later in their careers to fight, so you can never 100% believe when a fighter says they are done. But in the case of Struve, considering all of the injuries and all that’s at stake, this retirement sounds permanent.
What was your top memory from the UFC career of Stefan Struve?