Goiti Yamauchi went under the knife to fix a knee injury suffered in his most recent Bellator bout with Michael Page and it was a success, the welterweight fighter told MMA Fighting on Thursday.

Yamauchi, who suffered a patella tendon rupture after Page kicked his kneecap just 26 seconds into their Bellator 292 clash on March 10, said he’s “way better now” after undergoing surgery on March 14.

“I think that was a first in 30 years of MMA,” Yamauchi said of the injury.

Yamauchi said he’s already doing physical therapy but has no timetable for a return to martial arts training. Yet, he expects to resume training “faster than expected [because] my is body healthy and full of energy.”

As for a return to action inside the Bellator cage, Yamauchi believes a more realistic scenario would be in 2024, but could happen in late-2023.

“It really depends on my recovery and confidence,” he said.

Yamauchi (28-6) was on a three-fight finishing streak over Neiman Gracie, Levan Chokheli and Chris Gonzalez when he suffered the devastating defeat in San Jose, his first since moving up to welterweight.

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