Stefan Struve: The Heart of a Comeback
By: Dan Shapiro, FIGHTLAND
"Last we saw of seven-foot-tall Dutch heavyweight Stefan Struve, he was sent crumpling to the canvas by a vicious Mark Hunt left hook, suffering a broken jaw in the process. Struve was immediately sidelined, expecting a five-month layoff to recuperate, but in August 2013, while still recovering from a fractured mandible, Struve received a devastating diagnosis. He was suffering from athletic heart syndrome (AHS), also known as athlete’s heart, a condition where the heart is enlarged, as well as a leaking aortic valve, putting the future of his MMA career in jeopardy.
"Now, just 16 months after the loss to Hunt, and 11 months since the diagnosis, Struve, 26, who has received medical clearance to compete, is set to return to the Octagon at UFC 175 against Matt Mitrione. And while there are still plenty of questions regarding Struve’s condition, his comeback marks a notable advancement in cardiology and medical science."