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That UFC headliner who vanished for a year? Turns out his KO’d brain was bleeding...

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

Vicente Luque is known as the “Silent Assassin.”

The Brazilian headliner certainly did a good job of keeping quiet after his knockout loss to Geoff Neal in the UFC Vegas 59 co-main event back in summer 2022. That’s where Luque suffered a brain hemorrhage and found himself on the wrong end of a one-year medical suspension.

But now he’s back and ready to top the UFC Vegas 78 fight card in Las Vegas.

“He suffered a brain bleed (a year ago),” Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) executive director Jeff Mullen told MMA Junkie. “He had a suspension of one year. He had to bring before the commission clearance from a neurosurgeon and a neurologist independently who recommended he be licensed. We have that material. I have faith in our doctors.”

Luque’s loss to Neal was the first knockout defeat of his career.

His next assignment comes against former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos on Aug. 5 at APEX. The bout was originally scheduled for UFC Vegas 77 earlier this month; however, the promotion was forced to delay their welterweight showdown while Luque underwent additional testing.

“I’m not 100 percent sure why it moved,” Luque previously told Middle Easy. “But I believe part of it was kind of the commission wanted me to get some more exams and get cleared since my last fight because I got suspended six months. I was cleared to fight in February but still they wanted some more exams. (We’re) just making sure I’m 100 percent. I do feel 100 percent, so I’m sure that everything is going to be good. They wanted to wait maybe a year after my last fight.”

The No. 10-ranked Luque, 31, is looking to snap a two-fight skid.

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