Chuck Liddell has a green light to fight in his home state – as long as he takes the necessary steps to get medically cleared.
“If Chuck passes his medicals – his advanced medicals … I will administratively grant him a license,” California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster told MMAjunkie.
Foster said the CSAC follows guidelines established by the Association of Ringside Physicians for licensing fighters older than 40. Liddell (21-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC) is 48.
The guidelines require fighters to initially submit a magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) of the brain. It also calls for annual testing that includes a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain without contrast, and EKG, cardiac testing, neurocognitive testing, blood work and a vision test.
Liddell will have to provide all of the tests as part of his license application, in addition to the medical paperwork already required by the CSAC. If any of his tests are abnormal “or subsequently suggest deterioration in health status,” the ARP recommends denying the license.
Asked whether he had any concerns about licensing Liddell given his later career, which included three straight knockout losses, Foster replied, “not if he passes his medicals.”
“It would obviously depend on the opponent,” he added. “I don’t want to comment on who the opponent is. You’re the reporter, and you know dang well who it is. But his ability to license is different from his ability to compete, and his ability to compete would depend on who the opponent is.”
Liddell announced on Monday that he’s returning to the cage in anticipation of a fight with fellow UFC Hall of Famer and two-time opponent Tito Ortiz (19-12-1 MMA, 15-11-1 UFC), who this past week made a similar announcement of un-retirement. Liddell said he’s working with Golden Boy Promotions, headed by ex-boxing champ Oscar De La Hoya, to put a trilogy fight together in November at a to-be-determined city.
Although Ortiz is Liddell’s desired opponent, he said he will return whether or not Ortiz signed on for a third bout. He even talked up a bout with suspended ex-UFC champ Jon Jones (21-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) if he is able to win two bouts. Jones goaded Liddell while also mocking the idea.
Ortiz, 43, will also need to renew his fight license, Foster said, since the one he obtained for a retirement fight at Bellator 170 has expired.
UFC President Dana White has already voiced his opposition to Liddell’s comeback, saying the former champ doesn’t need to be fighting.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: CSAC chief has no problem licensing Chuck Liddell – as long as he passes 'advanced' medicals