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NAC: Vicente Luque cleared to fight after suffering brain bleed in Geoff Neal knockout loss

UFC Fight Night: Luque v Neal Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Veteran UFC welterweight Vicente Luque received a license in Nevada to fight after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage following his UFC Vegas 59 loss to Geoff Neal.

Luque, 31, was knocked out in the third round of the Aug. 6, 2022 fight and given a minimum one-year suspension after suffering the brain bleed. He applied for a new fight license during a meeting of the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Luque is scheduled to headline UFC Vegas 78 opposite ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos in a welterweight bout. The bout takes place Aug. 12 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

As a condition of his licensure, Luque was required to submit clearance from both a neurologist and neurosurgeon – independent of each other – to fight as well as a new MRI of his brain. An NAC’s medical consultant reviewed and approved the clearance, NAC Executive Director Jeff Mullen told MMA Fighting after an initial report from MMA Junkie.

Luque’s license is good for one year, and if he fights again in Nevada, he’ll likely be asked to submit additional medical testing to confirm he is healthy to compete, Mullen added.

The loss to Neal marked Luque’s second straight octagon setback after a four-fight winning streak. The hard-hitting Brazilian has hovered around the fringes of title contention in recent years, at one point stopping four straight UFC opponents by knockout. Prior to his Neal loss, Luque fell short on points to top contender Belal Muhammad, whom he knocked out in a 2016 fight.

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