UFC 175 Scrum News: Stefan Struve OK after pre-fight health scare
Dana White offers news on Stefan Struve's condition, the production team putting Ronda Rousey on the spot, Jose Aldo's return timeframe and more.
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By Mike Chiappetta
LAS VEGAS -- Fighting is in many ways managing the business of unexpected risk. Most of the time that means to your physical well-being in a cage, but occasionally, it spills over into regular life. Stefan Struve has lived that kind of tightrope over the last several months, attempting to get cleared from a heart ailment in order to resume his UFC career.
After finally getting the necessary clearances to compete, Struve was scheduled to compete at UFC 175. He never made it to the octagon. While warming up backstage, he began to hyperventilate, and ultimately collapsed. The UFC and Nevada athletic commission doctors immediately examined him, and eventually ruled him out of his bout with Matt Mitrione.
After the event was over, UFC president Dana White said Struve was "doing great" following the scary episode.
"I was with him most of the beginning of the [event]," White told FOX Sports. "He wanted to fight but he was worried, he was concerned, you know."
Struve's future will now be a topic of conversation until his next move is decided. White said the 7-footer, who has previously competed 31 times in his career with a 25-6 record, will have some soul-searching to do in order to determine his next course of action.
But White also stressed that his situation had to be handled delicately.
"It's one thing when this happens once. You can't do it again, but you don't want to put that pressure on him, because then he can't pull out if he wants to pull out," he said. "It's a very tricky situation."
Struve and Mitrione paid show & win money despite fight cancellation
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Zuffa LLC
While the fight world just empathized with Struve's plight, his scheduled opponent Matt Mitrione became something of an afterthought. He too, put in an entire camp and was left without a fight as the result.
UFC officials told FOX Sports that Mitrione handled the situation with grace and wished Struve a speedy recovery.
Beyond that, White said that both Struve and Mitrione would receive their show purse as well as win bonus.
The promotion regularly takes care of fighters who are forced out of fights on such late notice due to circumstances beyond their own control.
"They're both going to get paid," he said.
White angered by production putting Rousey on spot
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Zuffa LLC
It was only seconds after Ronda Rousey had knocked out Alexis Davis, and UFC color commentator Joe Rogan was in the cage interviewing her. Rogan mentioned that the promotion's UFC 176 card, scheduled for Aug. 2 in Los Angeles had no main event, and said that a producer in the production truck was directing him to ask Rousey if she'd be willing to compete on it.
Rousey said she had already scheduled knee surgery but would check with her coaches. White was angered by putting Rousey on the spot, calling it the "most idiotic move in the history of the production team."
"It's so mind-boggling that I don't even want to think about it," White said.
As it turns out, Rousey will almost certainly be unavailable for the fight, as she discovered after the bout that she'd ripped open a cut on one of her knuckles that required nine stitches.
Speaking of UFC 176, the event is in big trouble with no headlining act, and rumors are swirling about a possible cancellation. White said he wouldn't even think about how to fix the card until Monday, anticipating "a million nightmares" along the way.
But while that problem persists, featherweight champion is at least on the mend.
White said that Aldo's neck injury, which was re-aggravated during a recent training mishap, will have him out of action for just a bit. White said the return timeframe is "45 days later," which would place a possible return around mid-September.
Aldo had been scheduled to fight Chad Mendes in a rematch of their 2012 bout.
Sonnen commission hearing will be on UFC Fight Pass
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No one is ever going to accuse the UFC of being an unbiased purveyor of the news, but the promotion took an interested step recently when they live streamed through its new UFC Fight Pass service a Nevada athletic commission hearing which centered around the possibility of a suspension for longtime star Wanderlei Silva due to skipping a mandated drug test.
The move is seen as a positive step in offering some balance to coverage that is most often heavily weighted towards the promotion. White said to expect more of that kind of programming, and said Fight Pass will broadcast all NAC hearing going forward. That includes upcoming drug-test failure hearings that include Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen.
"It's part of the sport," White said. "It's part of something that our fan base is interested in. We're going to cover it."
Sonnen was recently released from his FOX and UFC broadcasting contract after failing a drug test for EPO and HGH.
White also said the Fight Pass service is looking to grow its offerings and will look past MMA to other combat disciplines as well.
"We can do everything fighting, everything combat sports, anything to do with the UFC. Anything that goes on," he said. "A lot of people tuned in for that commission hearing. A lot of people tuned in for the next one, and a lot of people will tune into Chael's, too."