Tony Ferguson, the interim UFC lightweight champion, recently underwent surgery on his left elbow, according to an Instagram post by his wife, Cristina.
Interestingly enough, the 33-year-old mixed martial artists had yet to mention any lingering elbow pain or the possibility of surgery before ultimately going under the knife.
Back on October 7, Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee at UFC 216 when he forced his opponent to submit via chokehold in the third round. He was named as the promotion’s interim champion of the 155-pound lightweight division because Conor McGregor, the reigning champion, had taken a leave from UFC for a late August boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Ever since, fighting fans have been itching for McGregor to defend his title against Ferguson in a unification bout.
If McGregor vacates or is stripped of his title, conventional wisdom says that Ferguson’s next opponent will be the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. The pair have been scheduled to square off three separate times since 2015, but have yet to make it to the octagon as the result of injuries to both fighters. In the wake of Ferguson’s crowning win over Lee, Nurmagomedov stoked the fire of finally getting in the ring with Ferguson by questioning the approach of his title-bout opponent.
“I think [Ferguson] won because Kevin Lee was fighting with him like chicken. That’s why he won,” he told Shaun Al-Shatti of MMAFighting.com. “[Lee] talked too much. He was not focused on the fight; he was focused on, I think, promoting the fight. When the fight was beginning, first round, [Lee] beat [Ferguson], and second round, [Lee] stayed with him in his distance, he ate a lot of jabs, and third round, he gave up, because he doesn’t have conditioning. That’s why.”