For the first time in his over 15 years competing in mixed martial arts, Alistair Overeem went under the knife on Wednesday to repair a pinched nerve in his elbow that had been nagging the fight since his last fight against Frank Mir in February.
Overeem might stand alone as one of the only MMA fighters at this level to go as long as he did without ever having to undergo surgery. The injury suffered by the former K-1 Grand Prix champion was actually the main reason he was unable to take a May fight against former heavyweight king Junior Dos Santos at an event now scheduled to take place in Brazil.
While the recovery time has not been revealed, Overeem is not expected to be out very long after the surgery and rehabilitation.
The mission for Overeem now becomes finding a new coach and training support system after his ties with former manager Glenn Robinson and the Blackzilian fight team were cut recently. Overeem didn’t actually train at the Blackzilian gym in Florida for his last fight against Mir, instead opting to work full time out of Thailand in preparation.
Following this surgery, Overeem appears to be on the lookout for a new team to join, however, and one possible landing spot could put him in the cage with two former opponents.
According to a report from UFC Tonight, Overeem is considering the Greg Jackson-Mike Winkeljohn team as one possible place he might want to work after his elbow is back to full health. The Jackson-Winkeljohn fight team currently houses some of the top fighters in the sport including Mir and current top ranked contender Travis Browne — both of whom fought Overeem within the last year.
Coach Greg Jackson confirmed that he has met with Overeem and even Browne said he would welcome the former kickboxer to the team because ‘iron sharpens iron’.
While there is no final decision made just yet, Overeem is weighing his options while his elbow recovers and then he can find his new team and book a fight for his return later in 2014.