UFC President Dana White believes Stefan Struve has fought his last fight inside the Octagon.
White expressed his opinion on Struve's recently diagnosed medical condition during an interview with 106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes (via CBS Washington):
"Yea, what he has is a serious condition, you know, and I honestly don’t think he ever will,” White told Dukes. "He’s got a rip in his heart,” he explained. “And you know, it’s one of those freak things that happen to people, and I love the kid. The kid’s got, no pun intended, but he’s got unbelievable heart. He’s tough as nails. He’s the nicest guy in the world, and we’re going to do everything in our power to help him through this thing.”
A little over two weeks ago on UFC Tonight, Ariel Helwani reported that Struve was going to be out for an undisclosed period of time after being diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart (via MMA Fighting).
At the time, Struve's manager, Lex McMahon, remained optimistic his client, who is just 25 years old, would be able to resume his career as a professional fighter.
"The Skyscraper" echoed that sentiment in a Tweet he wrote last night, stating that the thought of hanging up the gloves hasn't crossed his mind for a second.
I DON'T consider retirement as an option, it's possible 2 come back from this & I'm gonna go for that & make it work! Just so you know ;)
— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) September 5, 2013
Struve, who made his MMA debut shortly after he turned 17 years old, has compiled a solid 9-4 record under the UFC banner.
The seven-foot slugger, with a slick submission game to boot, looked like a dark horse title contender after racking up four straight stoppage wins between October 2011 and September 2012.
However, the Dutch brawler suffered a third round TKO at the hands of Mark Hunt at UFC on FUEL 8 in March, receiving a broken jaw in the process.
Prior to the diagnosis of serious health ailments, Struve had been pushing for a bout with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, a matchup the legendary Brazilian fighter favored as well.