by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Stefan Struve, a mammoth 7-foot, 238-pound kickboxing and submission Mixed Martial Arts specialist, was recently sidelined from fighting in the UFC after being diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart.

Lex McMahon, Struve’s manager, gave an update on the “Skyscraper’s” health through a statement released on Aug. 20 [via Ariel Helwani,]:

Struve 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.

UFC President Dana White seems to have a different opinion.

When asked on Wednesday if he thought Struve would ever fight again, here’s what White told 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes:

“Yea, what he has is a serious condition, you know, and I honestly don’t think he ever will,” White said.

“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.”

And although there have been numerous reports suggesting Chael Sonnen versus Rashad Evans is locked up for UFC 167 in Las Vegas, the 20th anniversary show, White wasn’t willing to break the news on-record just yet.

“We’ll see what happens, you know,” White said on 106.7 The Fan. “Chael is adamant that he wants to be the co-main event on this Georges St. Pierre card in Las Vegas in November, so we’ll see what happens.”

As for any future plans to bring the UFC back to the nation’s capital, White maintained, “soon.”

“We had a great show down there,” White said. “I love the city and we’ll be back soon.”

UFC last came to D.C. in May 2012.


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