Thiago Alves file photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
NEWARK, N.J. -- Thiago Alves, who was forced from the UFC 111 card because of an irregularity in his pre-fight neurological exam, is one step closer to finding out exactly what it was that caused the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board to call off his rematch with Jon Fitch.
The popular American Top Team welterweight contender underwent a battery of tests at the Hyman-Neuman Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery in New York City on Friday, and, although the results were not conclusive, Alves and his camp came away from the visit with renewed optimism that he will be able to return to the cage before summer.
ATT head trainer Ricardo Liborio told Sherdog.com that Alves is planning to have an angiogram either Tuesday or Wednesday to help determine the exact nature of the malformation on the left side of his brain.
According to Liborio, well-regarded neurologist Dr. Alejandro Berenstein has ruled out an aneurism after looking at MRI and MRA scans but could not determine the origin of the problem without getting a closer look -- something he will do with the angiogram next week.
“Dr. Berenstein could not determine if this was a congenital problem or something that was caused by trauma, but he has assured us that it is not a career-threatening issue,” Liborio said. “There is always a risk when you do a procedure like this, but we are hopeful that Thiago will be back training to fight within three weeks.”
Liborio went on to say that the timeline for Alves’ return to training would push his availability to fight to May at the earliest.
Alves and his team chose to stay in the New York area to undergo further tests and possible treatment in an effort to expedite clearance from the NJSACB. Control Board Dr. Sherry Wulkan helped set up Friday’s consultation and, according to Liborio, told Alves’ group that he could be cleared as quickly as next week should Dr. Berenstein deem it safe for him to return to action.
“We really want to thank Dr. Wulkan for helping us get Thiago in to see the specialist,” Liborio said. “She was very helpful in setting all of this up for us.”