Coming off a lackluster performance against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, Alistair Overeem underwent successful elbow surgery for bone spurs. Now the heavyweight contender says he wants to wait until he’s 100% ready before returning to Octagon action according to an interview with Sherdog.
“The surgery is healing up well. [I had] bone spurs in both elbows and an ulnar nerve entrapment, which was a long surgery — 11 hours. It’s pretty tough, but it was necessary. My arms were bothering me a lot for the last few years. I remember in the Mir fight [thinking] I’ve really got to get this checked out. After the Mir fight, [my] arms [were] not bothering [me], so you forget about it. But then my nerve got entrapped. That was the end of training right there. Now I’m recovering from that, getting in shape. I can say I’m already in okay shape. I’m just waiting for my hand to heal up a little bit more because the ulnar nerve controls half of your hand and it’s not entirely restored there yet.”
“I want to get in there as soon as possible. What I want to prevent is to accept a fight and have a setback and then not be optimal because that’s one thing I learned in 2013: Losing a fight costs you dearly. I want to be in a high percentage of fitness before I accept a fight because if you accept a fight, there’s pressure. And then if you withdraw from a fight because you’re not ready, then the whole world is going to be pissed and disappointed. So we need to be a little bit professional and go a little bit slower than I would like to. If it was up to me I’d fight again yesterday.”