A UFC 213 bantamweight title fight between Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw appears to be in jeopardy as news emerges that the champion is suffering from a back injury.
Dillashaw started the ball rolling yesterday when he announced that he’d been taken off Friday’s ‘Summer Kickoff’ press conference.
“I SMELL SOMEONE TRYING TO PULL OUT OF A FIGHT,” Dillashaw wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Garbrandt then revealed the reason he’d pulled out of the presser – he was going to get treatment for a back injury.
“Flying to Germany tomorrow for my second back procedure in less than 3 months, rest easy @TJDillashaw your time will come,” Garbrandt wrote.
“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!”
Dana White confirmed the news later in the day, but stated that he had a great deal of confidence that doctor’s in Germany would be able to fix Garbrandt’s problem, though he admitted that the fighter himself was less sure about it.
Meanwhile, White also revealed that if Garbrandt was unable to fight, then Dillashaw had a back-up plan in mind – drop down to flyweight to fight long-time champion Demetrious Johnson instead.
White said he found that idea intriguing, but it seems like ‘Mighty Mouse’ is less enthused about the possibility of locking horns with the former bantamweight champion.
“There’s other challengers in the division with more wins and on a winning streak,” Johnson told 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.”