UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt was nowhere to be seen at the UFC Summer Kickoff Press Conference.
The bantamweight champion recently revealed that he has a back injury and he’s flying to Germany to get it taken care of.
Garbrandt had posted the news on his Twitter, but then deleted them. Here is what the champion wrote:
Flying to Germany tomorrow for my second back procedure in less than 3 months, rest easy @TJDillashaw your time will come.
— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) May 12, 2017
I tore my back over two months ago and did stem cells that didn't heal my back as I was told, now off to Germany for another procedure!
Upon hearing the news of a potentially canceled title shot, the champion in former UFC bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw issued the following statement via Instagram:
I SMELL SOMEONE TRYING TO PULL OUT OF A FIGHT... My flights were cancelled on me last minute to be at the "UFC Summer Kickoff" press conference today because Cody doesn't want to go. @cody_nolove @ufc @danawhiteA post shared by tjdillashaw (@tjdillashaw) on May 12, 2017 at 12:30pm PDT
I SMELL SOMEONE TRYING TO PULL OUT OF A FIGHT... My flights were cancelled on me last minute to be at the "UFC Summer Kickoff" press conference today because Cody doesn't want to go. @cody_nolove @ufc @danawhite
A post shared by tjdillashaw (@tjdillashaw) on May 12, 2017 at 12:30pm PDT
Dillashaw fanned the flames of a rumored fight cancelation further by telling a fan on Twitter that the title fight has been canceled, the post has since been removed.
@LeeWillyyy @Cody_Nolove Yes
— TJ Dillashaw (@TJDillashaw) May 12, 2017
UFC President Dana White, once he got wind of the situation, would state that UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson would be a suitable replacement for Garbrandt.
“If he can’t fight,” White said at a UFC 211 media scrum, “T.J. Dillashaw called me this morning and said, ‘If Cody can’t fight, what I would love to do is stop Demetrious Johnson from breaking the record.’ So, that’s fun, right?”
The UFC Flyweight Champion would then issue a response to what the UFC President said and things do not look good for him to compete at UFC 213.
“There's other challengers in the division with more wins and on a winning streak,” he said to MMA Fighting. “This wouldn't be a super-fight because TJ is not a champion. He's just a 135er coming down to 125 to skip the line that other flyweight competitors have worked hard to climb. Now, if he was a champion, there’d be something there.”
Not to be deterred from a potential big money fight, the former bantamweight champion did his best to goad the flyweight kingpin into battle.
“First off, I believe Joseph Benavidez is the rightful contender. Since he is out with an injury and it looks like I'm out of a fight as well, timing is presenting the opportunity to fight the best pound-for-pound and stop him from breaking records. He needs to understand that this will be his biggest fight possible to make the most money, since he was so worried about making money after his last fight. I have tons of respect for DJ as a fighter and a person. I'm not trying to talk trash, I just want to fight the best. Let's glove up and make us some serious money. No one wants to see him fight someone he's beaten or never heard of to break the record. He's the pound-for-pound king so let's make this interesting,” Dillashaw said to MMA Fighting.
UFC 213 takes place on Saturday, July 8 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.
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