Alistair Overeem Injury: Updates on UFC Star's Elbow Surgery and Recovery

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2014

UFC star Alistair Overeem will miss some action as the 33-year-old heavyweight announced on Twitter that he will undergo the first surgery of his long career: 

According to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, the procedure will repair a pinched nerve in his elbow. It is expected that Overeem will need roughly three weeks of recovery time following the surgery.

Despite being faced with his first surgery, Overeem had positive thoughts going in:

Overeem is one of UFC's top heavyweights, but he has struggled since famously knocking out Brock Lesnar back in 2011. Overeem lost his ensuing two fights to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne before finally getting back on track with a victory over Frank Mir in February.

Prior to the Silva loss, Overeem was on a 12-fight unbeaten streak and seemed poised to potentially capture the UFC Heavyweight Championship at some point. He fell down the pecking order after losing consecutive fights, but he is still talented enough to get to that level.

Much of his success moving forward depends upon how this surgery goes. It seems to be a fairly routine procedure, and there is reason to believe that he'll be back in action soon.

It's impossible to know for sure how he might react to his first surgery, but Overeem has consistently been one of the top guys in his weight class since 1999, and this surgery should help ensure that he returns to an elite level.

Overeem is the No. 6 ranked fighter in UFC's heavyweight division right now, so the injury doesn't come at an ideal time. Provided Overeem recovers as expected and gets back on the horse, though, he should remain in the mix among the other top contenders upon his return.

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