It is going to be awhile before fans see Barberena compete again, as the fighter is set to undergo spinal surgery in two weeks.
“I’m actually going to take some time away from fighting for a little bit,” Barberena said on the Fitz & A Fighter podcast (via Nolan King of MMA Junkie). “Not because I want to, but because I have to. I’m going to be having back surgery in about two weeks. It’s just gotten to the point where I’m not able to function, and I’m in excruciating pain all the time.”
The fighter explained on the podcast that the issues began over a year ago when he fought Jake Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night Lincoln.
Barberena isn’t exactly sure how the back surgery will turn out, but he hopes to be working towards a title shot when returning.
“You never know what the future holds,” Barberena said. “If something went wrong or if something doesn’t work? I don’t know. But in my mind, I’m going to fight again. I’m going to have the best fight I’ve ever had, and it’s going to be a huge return. I’m going to continue to climb the ladder and work my way to the title.”
There is no word yet on exactly how long Barberena is going to be out of action for, but more should be known once the surgery is completed.