Alistair Overeem still nursing injured rib, timetable for UFC return unclear

Jared Wickerham

"The Reem's" return to the Octagon is still up in the air due to a hurting rib. An injury he fought with when he dominated Frank Mir at UFC 169 last month.

Alistair Overeem's return to the Octagon might be later, rather than sooner.

According to a report from "UFC Tonight," Overeem is still hurting from a nagging rib injury which forced the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion to turn down a fight against Junior dos Santos, and not because of fear, as UFC President Dana originally implied.

A comment that didn't sit too well with "The Reem," who quickly informed the mixed martial arts (MMA) world that his health was to blame. And taking a fight at less than 90 percent was something Overeem wasn't willing to do.

"He still is (nursing injured rib). He is still on vacation in Jamaica. He said he's been massaging it and doing some therapy. It still doesn't feel well, he's still feeling discomfort. In a few days he is going to go to Holland, which is where he's from, to get some tests done and to get some physical therapy done. He didn't want to agree to a fight until he is 90 percent or so healthy. He also wants to return as soon as possible. People are saying he's ducking Junior dos Santos and what not; he wants to fight, he just doesn't want to agree to a fight until he's close to 90 percent. He said he suffered the rib injury when he was four weeks out from the Frank Mir fight and right now he just wants to take it slow until he finds out what exactly is wrong with the rib because right now he doesn't know."

Despite the injury, Overeem was able to manhandle Frank Mir at UFC 169 last month (highlights), defeating the former three-time UFC heavyweight champion via unanimous decision.

And though the former K-1 champion clearly dominated the bout, it still drew the ire of White for not finishing Mir. Perhaps the rib injury played a big part in that.

Well, that and the "play it safe" mentality Overeem employed going into the bout in order to secure the win. For now, Alistair will continue to rehab and enjoy his time away from the cage before returning to action.

Junior dos Santos, however, will not be waiting for him.

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