Stefan Struve is ready to return to the Octagon after being sidelined with a heart condition. | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
Stefan Struve will return to action for the first time in more than a year when he squares off with Matt Mitrione at UFC 175.
Promotion officials announced the heavyweight matchup on Wednesday night. Two other pairings for the July 5 event were also revealed, as Guilherme Vasconcelos faces Luke Zachrich in a middleweight clash, and Ildemar Alcantara takes on Santiago Ponzinibbio at welterweight. UFC 175 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and is headlined by a middleweight title tilt between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida.
Struve was sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and enlarged heart last August. The 7-foot Dutchman known as “Skyscraper” was recently cleared by doctors to fight again, paving the way for his bout with Mitrione. Struve has not competed since March 2013, when he had his jaw broken in a third-round technical knockout loss to Mark Hunt at UFC on Fuel TV 8. A 26-year-old member of Team Schrijber, Struve is 9-4 in his UFC career, with notable triumphs against Stipe Miocic, Lavar Johnson and Pat Barry, to name a few.
Mitrione has won two of his last three fights, most recently knocking out Shawn Jordan 4:59 into the opening round of their UFC Fight Night “Kim vs. Hathaway” encounter in March. “Meathead” fought twice in 2013, scoring a 19-second knockout of Phil de Fries before losing to Brendan Schaub via submission at UFC 165.