UFC 159's Michael Bisping may need surgery to alleviate trapped nerve and muscle atrophy

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Bisping hasn't pulled out of his fight against Alan Belcher at UFC 159 (yet), but it's never a good sign when your two months out and can't even make a fist because your muscles have atrophied.

Top middleweight contender Michael Bisping plans to obliterate Alan Belcher at the upcoming UFC 159: "Jones vs. Sonnen" pay-per-view (PPV) event on April 27, 2013 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. There's just one teeny little problem.

"The Count" can't make a fist.

No, that's not a knock on his striking, he literally can't make one due to muscle atrophy in his afflicted mitt. That's to go along with the trapped nerve in his neck which will likely require surgery. Yep, the same one that sent combat sports legend Bas Rutten under the knife (see a pic here).

As Bisping explains to ESPN.co.uk, he's a physical mess.

"My right arm, and this is the first time I've mentioned this, I have a trapped nerve in my neck and need surgery on my neck. The way they've described it is that if you stand on a hosepipe, a lot of the water doesn't get through. The nerves along my right arm aren't getting through. You could squeeze my pec, really get your nails into it, and I wouldn't feel a thing. My right arm is so much weaker than my left, it's called atrophy, my muscle is wasting away because nerve signals aren't getting through. I need that taken care of but I've been fighting so much that I haven't had time for the treatment ... My hand, I can't even make a fist because I keep going into fight after fight after fight. Really what I need is six months off -- but I don't want to take six months off. I like what I do, I like to be kept busy."

Bisping (23-5) was handily defeated by Vitor Belfort at the UFC on FX 7 event earlier this year in Brazil (see it here), dropping him to 1-2 over his last three bouts. While he's slated to see a specialist to try to deal with his issues prior to battling "The Talent," six months off would do him some good.

He's certainly earned it.

The brash Brit has fought a staggering 18 times since his Octagon debut back in 2006 and clocked 10 fights on the regional scene in a two-year span prior to competing under the ZUFFA umbrella. That doesn't include his exhibition and amateur bouts, either.

Will he make it to "Dirty Jersey" in one piece? Stay tuned.

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