Sad news has broken today, as we learn that Dutch UFC Heavyweight Stefan Struve has been diagnosed with a heart condition. The illness, a leaking aortic valve, looks like it will have a huge effect on his fighting career.

As well as the leaking valve, Struve is undergoing treatment for an enlarged heart and has been hospitalised for a week for the condition. He released the following statement regarding the situation through his manager:

“Stefan loves the UFC and plans on being involved with company as a fighter and ambassador for years to come. Stefan wants to thank all the fans who have supported him thus far in his career as well as the UFC, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, Joe Silva, Dr. Jeff Davidson, the entire staff of the UFC, and his fellow fighters for affording him the opportunity to compete on the biggest stage of the sport of MMA, as well as a tremendous degree of support during this trying time. In particular Stefan wants to thank Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita and Joe Silva for immediately getting engaged with this issue and providing Stefan access to the best possible medical care.”

So an uncertain future for Struve, who last fought against Mark Hunt in March. The Super Samoan ended Struve’s four fight win streak. Struve isn’t letting the condition get in the way of his future plans though.

“Stefan fully appreciates the significance of the condition he has been diagnosed with, however, he is optimistic about the eventual outcome and fully plans on living a long, healthy, active, happy life and eventually returning to competition in the octagon for his quest to become the UFC heavyweight champion.”

Best of luck to you Stefan, from everybody here at Lowkick.