"The Count" has been dealing with a nagging nerve issue in his vertebrae for the past few months and a minor procedure will be required in order to correct the problem.
Even though Bisping claimed in mid-February he was unable to make a fist due to the nerve damage, apparently the injury wasn't serious enough to pull the British fighter out of his anticipated grudge match with Belcher set to take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
It will need his attention once the bout ends, though.
"I've still got the nerve issue, I need surgery but this fight got booked and there was no way I was going to cancel," Bisping told ESPN at Thursday's (April 25, 2013) UFC 159 media day at Madison Square Garden in New York City. "I've got surgery scheduled for after the fight, it's only small surgery, I've got two vertebrae pushing together, pinching a nerve that causes numbness and loss of strength in the right arm."
Naysays of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 3 winner may accuse him of making excuses ahead of his highly anticipated showdown with "The Talent" at UFC 159, but Bisping wants to assure everyone that is absolutely not the case.
"I've had that for a while, it's only that I've had it diagnosed now," Bisping said. "It's not an excuse for the last fight, and it's certainly not an excuse ahead of this fight."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the UFC 159 main card action on fight night (Sat., April 27, 2013), which is slated to begin promptly at 10 p.m. ET on PPV. The latest fight-by-fight updates of the live action will begin to flow earlier than that around 6 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook and FX Channel.
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