Stefan Struve announced his retirement from the UFC on Monday, citing the lingering effects of a viral infection he suffered last May.
Struve, the tallest fighter in UFC history at 7'0", said the inner ear issue caused permanent damage that affected him in his loss to Tai Tuivasa at UFC 254 in October 2020.
"Unfortunately after the fight, some of the issues came back after being hit by a punch on the right ear; it was a punch that should not be an issue normally," Struve said.
Struve, 32, said the lingering effects do not cause him issues in his everyday life. However, they do make it impossible for him to put his body through the necessary training to be ready for a UFC bout.
"I have no big issues when I'm just doing my everyday things and training on a normal level, to be healthy and in shape. The extreme intensity I have to put my body through in training camp to get ready for fights I can't do anymore though," Struve said.