Over the course of this week, there has been much speculation as to whether or not UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt would be able to make his first title defense at UFC 213 on July 8th.
While Garbrandt was slated to fight TJ Dillashaw on the highly anticipated card, news surfaced earlier this week that Garbrandt was being flown to see UFC President Dana White’s doctor in Germany about a back injury that could potentially keep him off UFC 213. While Garbrandt and the MMA community were skeptical that the treatment would leave Garbrandt in a position to recover and fight so soon, UFC President Dana White held out hope.
Now, Garbrandt has revealed via comments on his personal Facebook page, that he will not be able to compete at UFC 213.
After it was asked how therapy went, Garbrandt replied by saying “4 more weeks of recovery! Then I can slowly start to train and test it out.”
When asked if he would be fighting at UFC 213, the champ responded:
“No I’m not fighting on the 8th. This has been my dream to get to the top and I want to have longevity!”
This of course means that the UFC will likely go with their backup plan of having TJ Dillashaw drop to flyweight to challenge Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title in a fight that could potentially see Johnson set the UFC record for most title defenses made by a champion. Unfortunately, as it has been reported, that fight will not take place at UFC 213, and will be scheduled for another event.
While Dillashaw and the UFC are in favor of the fight, Johnson isn’t as thrilled about the fight. The champ explained recently that he feels as though the fight between he and Dillashaw isn’t a ‘super fight’ given that Dillashaw isn’t a champion. As a result, the champ feels as though Dillashaw is simply cutting the line at 125.
Stay tuned for updates as they become available.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/20/2017.