It was supposed to be Cody Garbrandt standing across the Octagon from Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 255.
However, a bicep injury forced the former bantamweight champion to withdraw from the bout, and Alex Perez took “No Love’s” spot against the reigning champion. Figueiredo made short work of Perez on Saturday night, winning via guillotine choke 1:57 into Round 1 of the UFC 255 main event in Las Vegas. Garbrandt wasn’t particuarly impressed by the Brazilian’s quick victory.
“Alex Perez was just someone they gave Deiveson Figueiredo to build up our fight more,” Garbrandt recenty told ESPN. “I knock [Figueiredo] out in the first or second round. I’ll be ready by March.”
Garbrandt’s timeline could potentially work well for both Figueiredo and the promotion: The flyweight champion has already been booked for a quick turnaround against Brandon Moreno at UFC 256 on Dec. 12.
In a separate post on social media, Garbrandt revealed that he was affected by COVID-19 and other issues in addition to his bicep injury.
“Disclaimer from my last post, I was positive for COVID Aug 29th. Since then I have been battling vertigo, tore my vein in my bicep which resulted in finding out I have blood clots, pneumonia and mental fog, these are the symptoms I’ve had and been dealing with and this is the reason I pulled out of the fight,” Garbrandt wrote on his Instagram story (quote via MMA Mania). “I haven’t done any media, but I’d like to address it on my own terms.”
That was a lamb being brought in to a slaughter to build up that Golem mfer and let me heal from covid. It’s just business.— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) November 22, 2020
Garbrandt last appeared at UFC 250, where he halted a three-bout skid with a second-round KO of Raphael Assuncao in a 135-pound bout on June 6.