It appears Stefan Struve is still interested in making a UFC comeback in the near future.
The longtime heavyweight competitor was scheduled to make an anticipated return in a feature fight on the UFC 175 fight card, and while he weighed in and was present in the locker room on fight night, he never actually got into the octagon to face Matt Mitrione.
Struve, who was coming off an extended layoff with a leaking aortic valve, suffered from what was believed to be a panic attack just a short while before the start of the PPV card and nearly fainted backstage. The UFC eventually stepped in and cancelled the fight, which they announced at the start of the main card broadcast.
According to Struve's manager, Lex McMahon, the panic attack was not related to his heart condition.
"He had essentially what boiled down to a panic attack," McMahon said on The MMA Hour. "It manifested itself physically, he had a fainting episode backstage before his fight occurred. I don't think he took full account of the emotions to step into the Octagon. I think he had some lingering questions about where health was even though he'd been cleared by specialist. All those things came together in a perfect storm and unfortunately it created a tremendous amount of anxiety, and it caused him to faint. ... Stefan has already seen several doctors, the doctors have reiterated there is nothing physically wrong with him, it was more the psychological response which created the physical manifestation of him fainting."
McMahon also confirmed that Struve is still interested in returning to the UFC, and hopes that that can come to fruition "sooner than later."
"I've subsequently spoken with Dana [White] several times and his question has been ‘Does Stefan want to fight?'" McMahon said. "I've spent a fair amount of time with Stefan since the canceled bout, and his response was 100 percent, he definitely wants to fight.'
"My guess is you'll see him sooner than later," McMahon said. "Dana's been super supportive of that and he's kind of left it up to us to figure out what the timeline to be. We'll have something Stefan pretty soon."
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.