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Bisping heads to specialist to cure serious nerve problem

ESPN staff
February 19, 2013
Michael Bisping talks to ESPN

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Michael Bisping has revealed to ESPN that he may require surgery to correct a nerve problem that is causing atrophy, a condition that sees the wasting away of muscle tissue.

Bisping heads to a specialist on Tuesday regarding the issue, which has severely weakened his right arm. He hopes to cure the problem ahead of his April 27 fight with Alan Belcher.

The Brit has fought four times in the past 13 months, putting heavy strain on his body as he pursues the UFC middleweight title, and he admits he ideally needs a six-month layoff. However, Bisping does not plan a break from the sport, unless his current condition forces it upon him.

"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.

"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. I'm seeing a specialist on Tuesday, hopefully to get it sorted. I'm too old school for my own good.

"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."

Bisping is planning a catalogue of changes following the Belfort loss, admitting he does not treat his body as professionally as he should. In a frank and admirable interview, Bisping blamed himself for not being where he wants to be - which is at the top of the middleweight pile.

"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."

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