In August, UFC heavyweight Stephan Struve was diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart. 'Skyscraper' was born with the condition, and it had little effect on his performance, but at 25, his future in MMA has been thrown into doubt.
"I honestly don't think he ever will [fight again]," UFC president Dana White. "He's got a rip in his heart. 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."
Struve maintained a positive attitude throughout the ordeal. He followed a reccomended medical course of action, taking medication for two months, and then reassessing. The Dutchman met with his doctors last week and received positive news - he could return to training.
Struve took the next stape is back sparring, via Twitter.
“First time sparring since februari of this year, finally :)" tweeted Struve. “Timing was a bit off but it felt amazing to do what I love doing again. Not feeling anything different then before. On my to that comeback!"