Tony Ferguson wants title unification fight vs. Conor McGregor in early 2018

Interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is calling for a title unification bout against Conor McGregor in the first quarter of 2018.

Ferguson (23-3) underwent elbow surgery earlier last week, but he is not expected to miss significant time. In a recent Instagram post, Ferguson said he'll be ready to unify his title early next year.

"I asked Doc if he could make my elbows any more sharper," Ferguson wrote. "Well ... [with] a wink and a nod it was done!!! T'was a very minor surgery and now getting ready to unify my belt with McNuggets in the first [quarter] of the year (March - April), as recovery is going great!!! #DefendorVacate"

Fighting out of Southern California, Ferguson won the interim title by submitting Kevin Lee at UFC 216 in October.

At that time, it at least appeared he drew McGregor's attention. McGregor (21-3), who hasn't fought in the UFC since he won the lightweight championship in November 2016, posted a photo inspired by the video game "Grand Theft Auto," with the simple caption "Tony."

The UFC has been in discussions with McGregor regarding a new deal. The Irish star is still under contract with the UFC, but he would like to restructure the deal before fighting again.

At a recent media lunch in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White said there is still no guarantee McGregor ever fights again, after receiving a massive payday for his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. He also admitted, however, the UFC needs to make a decision on the future of its 155-pound division.

The UFC has stated multiple times Ferguson should be McGregor's next opponent. Ferguson is riding a 10-fight win streak.