Good to hear. Was quite a scare when the news broke of his medical problems in his brain, was a pretty crazy 48 hours in the build up to that card. Nice to see that his surgery was successful, he's now fit and ready for the rematch with Fitch. Really looking forward to the fight. I'm sure Thiago will have worked even harder than usual now that he's had this potentially life threatening scare and be looking to make the most of every day and fulfill his potential. Going to be a fantastic fight.After a medical condition forced him out of UFC 111 and put his future fighting career in jeopardy, Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Thiago Alves has been medically cleared to resume fighting.
Nick Lembo of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the athletic commission has removed Alves' indefinite suspension.
That means Alves' can now proceed with a planned bout with Jon Fitch. In fact, additional sources told MMAjunkie.com that fight is now signed for the main card of the Aug. 7 event.
"Mr. Alves is medically cleared as of today to resume his career as a professional mixed martial artist in the UFC," Lembo wrote in an email to MMAjunkie.com. "It is a pleasure to be able to clear Thiago and allow him to return to what he loves doing after all he has been through."
Alves' world was turned upside down when the NJSACB suspended him two days before a scheduled meeting with Fitch at UFC 111 due to a failed CT scan. Alves underwent brain surgery four days after the show to correct an arteriovenous fistula on the left side of his brain. The procedure was successful.
The NJSACB's Dr. Sheryl Wulkan diagnosed the condition, and neurointerventionalist Dr. Alex Berenstein treated it.
In recent months, Alves underwent an MRI and an angiogram (an X-ray of blood vessels) in order to be cleared.
"Thiago underwent a follow-up angiogram for his dural fistula," Dr. Berenstein wrote to Dr. Wulkan in a letter dated June 7 (read the letter in .pdf form). "I am pleased to inform you that this fistula is completely obliterated.
"At this point, I think Thiago is able to do physical activity without restrictions."
Alves (16-6 MMA, 9-3 UFC) hasn't competed since a five-round decision to welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 100 in July 2009. The American Top Team fighter twice has been scheduled to avenge a second-round TKO loss to Fitch, which came in 2006. A knee injury forced him out of UFC 107 in December, and the failed CT exam prior to UFC 111 once again had "Pitbull" on the sidelines.
Fitch (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC), meanwhile, ended up fighting late replacement Ben Saunders at UFC 111 and won a lopsided unanimous decision. The longtime contender now has won 12 of his 13 UFC fights; the lone loss came to champ St-Pierre at UFC 87. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter has gone to a decision in his past six wins, including all four in his recent win streak, though he's faced tough-to-finish opponents such as Mike Pierce, Paulo Thiago and Diego Sanchez.