One of the biggest names in the Ultimate Fighting Championship Heavyweight division has decided, for now, to retire from the sport of mixed martial arts.
At UFC on ESPN+ 3, on Feb. 23, Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve competed in his 22nd UFC bout against Marcos Rogério de Lima. Early on in the bout, Lima landed a big overhand punch that dropped Struve. However, Struve would comeback and win via arm-triangle submission in the second round.
After garnering his 13th career victory inside the Octagon, the Dutch fighter shared an emotional moment with the Czech Republic fans as he declared that this fight was possibly his last of his prominent career, leaving his UFC gloves in the center of the cage upon his exit.
Struve (28-12, 13-9) made his debut at UFC 95 against Junior dos Santos in 2009. Across the span of his 10 year career, Stuve has amassed a solid career with the premier mma organization. Going 13-9 overall with the promotion, Struve has earned victories over the likes of Pat Barry, Lavar Johnson, Antonio Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Stipe Miocic.
Struve walks away from the sport holding the record for the fourth most wins in the UFC’s Heavyweight division. He also holds the second most submissions in UFC history. Struve also carried the distinction of being the tallest fighter that has ever competed in the UFC at seven feet tall.
Across his career, Struve made a notable name for himself by making comebacks in fights he was otherwise well on his way to losing. His most prominent comeback came early in his career when he was hurt early in his bout with Denis Stojnić. After taking an elbow that opened a cut on his face, Struve was badly bleeding and seemingly out of the fight. The Dutch fighter would surmount a momentous comeback with a submission victory late in the second round.
Struve, who is aged young at only 31 years old, has competed since he was 18 years old. Of his 28 careers wins, 18 have come by way of submission and eight by way of knockout.
While Struve has stated that he is now retired, he leaves the door open for a potential return to action as he wasn’t 100 percent committed to the idea of retirement.
““I’m not 100 percent sure yet, it’s not a decision I made right now. I lost my last three before this and to get a win like this, a lot of people end their careers too late. I’m gonna overthink it, so this is not 100 percent, but I feel this is a great moment so thank you all very much to all the fans. I love you. All my training partners, coaches that have been with me 16 years. Thank you all.”