A lower back injury has forced UFC lightweight contender Michael Chiesa to withdraw from his scheduled July 13 encounter with Tony Ferguson.
Chiesa confirmed the news on Monday following a report from MMAJunkie.com.
“During a routine training session, I felt a pop and shift in my lower back followed by very very sharp pains that left me on the floor,” Chiesa wrote in a Facebook post. “I found out today I have a fully ruptured disk, I will undergo 8 weeks of physical therapy and rehab to hopefully avoid having to go under the knife and get back surgery.”
Chiesa and Ferguson were slated to headline next month’s UFC Fight Night card in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. UFC officials told MMAJunkie.com that the organization is currently seeking a short-notice replacement opponent for Ferguson.
Chiesa had racked up three straight wins over the past 14 months, most recently submitting Beneil Dariush in an April clash at UFC on Fox 19. The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15, Chiesa holds an Octagon record of 7-2 with five wins by way of rear-naked choke.
One of the UFC’s top contenders at 155 pounds, Ferguson will go in search of his eighth consecutive victory in his next outing. “El Cucuy” went 3-0 in 2015 but has yet to enter the cage this year after an injury forced him from a planned April meeting with Khabib Nurmagomedov.