Cody Garbrandt suffering post-COVID syndrome

The main event of UFC 255 was originally scheduled to be flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo vs. former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt. However, it was reported that “No Love” had suffered a bicep injury, and the relatively unheralded Alex Perez was in, eventually losing in under two minutes. Other notable drop outs on the card included Robbie Lawler dropping out due to injury and being replaced by Tim Means who eventually decisioned Mike Perry, and Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Vera being moved to UFC on ESPN 19.

It’s widely believed that Garbrandt would have been a far more competitive fight than Perez proved to be, but not only did he have a torn bicep, he also revealed recently on an Instagram Story that he contracted COVID-19. The pandemic kept him out of the gym for six weeks, and has left him with lingering health issues.

“Disclaimer from my last post, I was positive for COVID Aug 29th,” wrote Garbrandt, as transcribed by Ryan Harkness for MMA Mania. “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.”

Post-COVID syndrome is as yet little understood, but can last up to six months or more, with symptoms that include: 
•Difficulty breathing
•Joint pain
•Chest pain
•Brain fog, including an inability to concentrate and impaired memory
•Loss of taste and/or smell
•Sleep issues

Despite the lingering complications, Garbrandt is determined to fight for the flyweight title.

“Alex Perez was just someone they gave Figueiredo to build up our fight more,” said Garbrandt to ESPN. “I knock that guy out in the first or second round. I’ll be ready by March.”

However, Figueiredo defends his title again, vs. Brandon Moreno at UFC 256 on December 12, a turnaround time of just 21 days.

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