UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem forced to undergo surgery for pinched nerve

Jared Wickerham

And he's proud of the fact that it will be his first time under the knife since turning pro.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight slugger, Alistair Overeem, is headed for surgery.

But not for that pesky rib.

Instead, "Demolition Man" will be getting cut up later today (April 9, 2014) in Florida to correct a pinched nerve in his elbow, though he wouldn't specify which one, according to a report from MMA Fighting.

Said Reem:

"Initially, I didn't realize what it was and thought it would pass. I thought [my injured] rib was worse, which it isn't. So after 19 years of abuse to my body, I'm proud to now only have my first surgery."

It may be his first surgery, but he's certainly had his fair share of injuries.

Overeem (37-13) was last seen knocking around Frank Mir in a "safe" performance at UFC 169 back in February. His unanimous decision win over the former division champ snapped a two-fight losing streak and prompted the hulking Dutchman to call out WWE headliner Brock Lesnar.

That didn't sit well with UFC President Dana White, who was trying to pair him off against Junior dos Santos.

Despite his championship credentials overseas, Overeem has failed to live up to the hype since joining the world's preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in late 2011. After he stopped Lesnar in his Octagon debut, "The Reem" flunked a pre-fight drug test in Las Vegas.

Then came back and got KTFO in consecutive fights.

How long this latest issue keeps him sidelined remains to be seen, but in his absence, the heavyweight division rolls on.

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