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UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw sidelined by elbow surgery

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After Dominick Cruz beat the snot out of Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans patiently waited for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to rubber stamp "The Dominator's" request to challenge TJ Dillashaw for the 135-pound title.

Not just yet.

Dillashaw was recently forced to go under the knife to repair chronic swelling in his elbow (bursitis) and will be sidelined for 1-2 months. The injury, as "The Viper" explained to MMA Fighting, came at the expense of Joe Soto back in August (more on that here).

"Swollen from elbowing [Joe] Soto," he wrote via text message. "Drained it multiple times but just kept coming back."

Dillashaw, who characterized the surgery as "minor," said he'll be in a splint for three weeks. Recovery time is expected to be between three-to-five weeks total.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the champ will likely make his second title defense early next year.

While I'm sure Cruz is itching to win back the title he was forced to relinquish, he of all people can appreciate what it means to have to wait for the champion to heal from injuries. The former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) titleholder missed three years of action after multiple setbacks (like this).

See you in 2015.

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