Stefan Struve's heart shrinks, 'Skyscraper' targets UFC return in mid-2014

Copyright: Martin McNeil

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Stefan Struve was benched indefinitely after being diagnosed with a heart condition; however, it looks as though "Skyscraper" may indeed rise again.

I'm sure Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Stefan Struve would love to prove Dana White wrong.

That's because the promotion president said that "Skyscraper" would never fight again, after being diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and enlarged heart, which would not allow the 25-year-old Dutchman to be medically cleared for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight.

Or so he thought.

Turns out Struve (25-6) is already back in training and managed to avoid surgery. But will he be able to improve to the point where a physician would greenlight his Octagon return?

MMA Fighting has the answer:

According the fighter's manager, Lex McMahon, the size of Struve's heart has shrunk over the past few months while the leakage has decreased significantly due to a positive response from treatment, allowing Struve to officially be cleared to return to training at 80-percent, according to a report on UFC Tonight.

Remember when "having a huge heart" was a compliment?

But even if he's got a top-notch ticker, Struve still has some work to do in order to get his career back on track. "Skyscraper" suffered a dislodged tooth and a broken jaw (pic) when he was knocked out by Mark Hunt on the main card of UFC on FUEL TV 8, which took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, back in March.

In addition, he's already been knocked out in four trips to the Octagon (five overall), which goes beyond the jacked jaw and husky heart, straight into pugilistic dementia territory. It's a hard conversation to have when dealing with a fighter this young, but the brain wasn't built to be used as a pinball.

If and when Struve does return to the cage, it will be interesting to see who UFC pairs him up with.

Any suggestions?

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