Wife of Tony Ferguson reveals elbow surgery for UFC interim lightweight champ

Any hope of finding clarity within the UFC's crowded lightweight division to open 2018 may be a long shot after interim champion Tony Ferguson underwent surgery this week. 

The development was revealed Thursday on an Instagram post from Ferguson's wife Cristina, which showed a picture of "El Cucuy" taken in the hospital with his left elbow bandaged.

The length or severity of recovery for Ferguson (23-3) remains unknown. But the news likely isn't good for fans hoping to see an early 2018 unification bout between Ferguson, 33, and division champion Conor McGregor. 

Not much is known at all regarding when -- or even if -- McGregor (21-3) will return to the Octagon after reportedly taking home $100 million for his 10th-round TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather in his August pro boxing debut. 

McGregor, 29, has yet to defend the 155-pound title he won by knocking out Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 and never defending the featherweight title he won the previous year. After it became clear McGregor wasn't returning to UFC 219 on Dec. 30, UFC president Dana White repeatedly disclosed his hope for making McGregor-Ferguson at UFC 222 on March 3 in Las Vegas. 

Ferguson currently has a 10-fight win streak and submitted Kevin Lee at UFC 216 in October to capture the interim championship. 

Top lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0), who was originally scheduled to face Ferguson for the interim title in March but pulled out after being hospitalized from a tough weight cut, is set to return from injury and layoff against Edson Barboza later this month. 

But Nurmagomedov revealed on social media last month that he was offered the interim champion instead and accepted only for Ferguson to say no.

Ferguson subsequently responded by calling him out

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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