As first reported by ESPN UK, UFC middleweight Michael Bisping saw a specialist on Tuesday to address a “trapped nerve” in his neck that is affecting the right side of his body, and he may undergo surgery to fix it before his UFC 159 meeting with Alan Belcher on April 27th. The nerve problem has caused significant muscle atrophy in Bisping’s right arm, and is even preventing him from making a fist. The Count explains:
“My right arm, and this is the first time I’ve mentioned this, I have a trapped nerve in my neck and [possibly] 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.
“All along here (gestures towards his side and pectoral area), 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…
“The thing is I’ve got another fight booked already. 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.”
With a tough fight against Belcher on the schedule just two months from now, Bisping’s nerve-problem has him looking to make some long-overdue changes in his approach to health and training:
“I need to be more professional in terms of my own body,” Bisping told ESPN, when asked what changes he needs to make after defeat to Vitor Belfort. “I don’t get injuries seen to — I’m very old school. There’s some issues I need to address…
“Some things need to change. I consistently overtrain,” he said. “Maybe I put on too much weight between fights. Right now I’m still 203lbs, I could make middleweight at the weekend. Normally I’d be 220 by now. They’re just some of the issues. Coaches, I’m my own head coach, my own nutritionist, I need somebody to kick my ass and discipline me.”
Taking six months off after the Belfort fight probably wouldn’t have been the worst idea, despite Bisping’s desire to stay busy; we’ll see if his health becomes a factor in April. In the meantime, who are you picking for Bisping vs. Belcher?