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Stefan Struve retires from UFC — ‘It’s time to hang up the gloves for good’

After 12 years in UFC, which include a knockout victory over current heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, the “Skyscraper” is no more.

UFC Fight Night: Struve v Rothwell Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Longtime UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve, who turns 33 in just a few days, has retired from combat sports for the second time after a long and unsuccessful battle against injuries and assorted health issues.

“Skyscraper” made the announcement on Twitter.

“I was able to take my space and time the last couple of months to overthink this, so this time it really is for good. I’ve had an inner ear issue I’ve been battling since May last year. I caught a viral infection that has damaged my vestibular system and the hearing nerve in my right ear. After new tests done recently we learned that the vestibular system is not working properly, the first conclusion in May was that it was most likely [Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo].

“Because of this I have also been dealing with vertigo issues, and also loss of hearing and tinnitus, a ringing noise in my ear. After I caught it in May things got a lot better, after a couple rough weeks at first. I was doing good although still experiencing some vertigo and other minor issues but my idea was, especially with the doctors telling me the issues would go away after a while, to just keep going and ignore it until it really was gone completely. Unfortunately during [my most recent] fight some of the issues came back after getting hit flush on the right ear, it was a punch that should not be an issue normally.

“After that fight I was having more issues again and the doctors scheduled new tests. Those, unfortunately for me, took a long time to happen because of the lockdown over here in the Netherlands. After these tests I was told the damage in the ear and the vestibular issues caused by the viral infection I’d been dealing with are most likely permanent. I have no big issues when I’m just doing my everyday things and, or, training on a normal level to be healthy and in shape.

“The extreme intensity I have put my body through in training camp to get ready for fights I can’t do anymore. At this juncture, I realize that it’s time to hang up the gloves for good, and my put my health and family first. I’ve had a long career and battled through multiple injuries, including a broken jaw and my heart condition. Pushing forward and training hard without listening to my body would be asking for real trouble in my opinion.”

Struve (29-13) has struggled to stay competitive over the last few years, dropping five of his last six and getting knocked out in three of those losses. His final appearance came against Tai Tuivasa at UFC 254 last October.

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