Former UFC bantamweight champion, Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt, will have to postpone his return to the Octagon on home soil – as kidney issues have forced the Ohio native from his bantamweight clash with Raphael Assunção. Garbrandt was expected to make his first Octagon appearance in over a year against the Brazilian, until kidney issues forced the 28-year-old off the UFC Fight Night Columbus card. News of the withdrawal was initially reported by ESPN staff writer, Brett Okamoto.
Uhrichville native, Garbrandt, who holds the #9 rank at 135-pounds, has dropped three knockout defeats in a row, to Pedro Munhoz, and T.J. Dillashaw (x2). Garbrandt recently combined-camps with Team Alpha MMA in Sacramento, and Mark Henry MMA in New Jersey, as he attempts to reignite his career flame. The heavy-hitter’s rise to champion status circa 2016, included knockouts of Thomas Almeida, and Takeya Mizugaki, before a one-sided unanimous decision title win over Dominick Cruz.
37-year-old contender, Assunção, is attempting to bring an end to a two-fight slide at bantamweight. The Pernambuco native dropped a guillotine loss to Marlon Moraes in a rematch – before a decision loss to Cory Sandhagen in his most recent outings. In his nine-year Octagon stint, Assunção has managed contentions wins over the aforementioned Dillashaw and Moraes, as well as Aljamain Sterling. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has also lodged wins over Rob Font, Johnny Eduardo, and Pedro Munhoz. As of yet, it’s unknown if the promotion will attempt to reschedule the pairing, or if they will search for a replacement for Garbrandt which will allow Assunção to remain on the card.