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Alistair Overeem to undergo elbow surgery, needs approximately three weeks recovery time

UFC heavyweight competitor Alistair Overeem will be undergoing elbow surgery on Wednesday afternoon, and will require three weeks recovery time post-surgery.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

After nearly two decades of professional competition, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem will undergo his first ever surgery on Wednesday afternoon.

While many would have assumed that the surgery in discussion had to do with his ribs, which kept him out of a possible match-up against Junior dos Santos, the Strikeforce heavyweight champion will actually require surgery to correct a pinched nerve in his elbow.

"Initially, I didn't realize what it was and thought it would pass," he told's Ariel Helwani. "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."

The Dutchman also mentioned that the rib injury he had suffered was as "good as healed."

Following two consecutive knockout losses in 2013, Overeem snapped his losing streak with a unanimous decision victory over former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir at UFC 169.

Overeem was informed by his doctor that he will need approximately three weeks to recover post-surgery.