It was hard to watch UFC 255 on Saturday night (Nov. 21, 2020) without thinking about what could have been.
The pay-per-view (PPV) main event was originally supposed to be Flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo vs. former Bantamweight kingpin Cody Garbrandt. Robbie Lawler was set to take Mike Perry to school, and Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Vera sounded pretty great, too. But, Lawler was forced to pull out with an injury and Aldo vs. Vera was moved to December.
As for Garbrandt? The initial reason for his removal back at the start of October was a torn bicep. “No Love” also revealed he had come down with COVID, which had kept him out of the gym for 1.5 months, but that didn’t seem like an ongoing issue. Just another young healthy man shrugging it off.
Unfortunately, now Garbrandt is revealing what sounds like more serious complications from the illness.
“Disclaimer from my last post, I was positive for COVID Aug 29th,” Garbrandt wrote in an Instagram Story. “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. I haven’t done any media, but I’d like to address it on my own terms.”
Blood clots, pneumonia and mental fog are all symptoms of post-COVID syndrome.
Even with all this, Garbrandt is confident that he’ll be able to make a return to the Octagon in the first quarter of 2021.
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
“Alex Perez was just someone they gave Figueiredo to build up our fight more,” Garbrandt told ESPN. “I knock that guy (Figueiredo) out in the first or second round. I’ll be ready by March.”
Figueiredo is set to make a historic 21-day turnaround to fight Brandon Moreno at UFC 256 in December. Will he (or Moreno) be willing to turn around again three months later to fight Garbrandt? Between Garbrandt getting healthy and champion schedules lining up, there’s still a lot of moving parts to Cody’s 125-pound debut in flux. Which makes us all the more sad we didn’t just get to see “Figgy” versus “No Love” last night.
For complete UFC 255: “Figueiredo vs. Perez” results and play-by-play, click here.