As has been written many times before on these pages, mixed martial arts retirements are often just temporary and now giant Dutch heavyweight Stefan Struve has become the latest fighter to help prove that rule.
Around six months since announcing that he was stepping away from the sport following an arm triangle choke submission of Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC Prague last February, the UFC have today confirmed the return of the 31-year-old 7ft tall behemoth, who will take on Ben Rothwell at UFC on ESPN 7 in Washington D.C. on Dec. 7.
Struve pieced together a 13-9 record in the UFC (29-11 overall) since his debut at UFC 95 in 2009 including wins against Antonio Nogueira, Stipe Miocic, Antonio Silva and Pat Barry. In fact, given that he and fellow veteran heavyweight Rothwell have been part of the same roster for so long, it is surprising that the two heavyweights haven’t come face to face in the octagon until December.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) August 13, 2019
Rothwell, meanwhile, has lost three straight in the UFC. First to Junior Dos Santos in 2016, after which he was forced to step away from the sport after the (disputed) results of a drug test mandated so. He returned to action earlier this year and has dropped two further fights, to Blagoy Ivanov and Andrei Arlovski.