Carla Esparza to undergo shoulder surgery, likely out 6 to 8 months

Carla Esparza will begin her march back to the title after shoulder surgery.

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Former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza will have to delay her attempted charge back to the title due to shoulder surgery that will keep the "Ultimate Fighter" winner on the shelf for approximately the next six to eight months.

Esparza’s manager Brian Butler of Suckerpunch Entertainment confirmed the injury and surgery to FOX Sports on Monday.

According to her manager, Esparza suffered the injury in her fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 185 in March, but didn’t feel it was severe enough to warrant surgery at the time.  

Following the conclusion of the fight, Esparza knew something was wrong with her shoulder right away, so she allowed the injury time to heal and recover.

She began rehabilitating her shoulder to plan her return to action, but the ultimate diagnosis was that Esparza needed surgery.

The No. 1 ranked contender at 115 pounds is on a family vacation that was already planned before she was told surgery would be required, but when Esparza returns to the United States, she will undergo surgery to repair the damage to her shoulder.

Esparza remains the top-ranked contender in the women’s strawweight division, but for now her focus will have to shift to recovery until she can get back in action in early 2016.