Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrant was requested to get off a flight after he argued with the flight attendants over a mask issue that involved his toddler.
Cody Garbrandt spoke out against Southwest Airlines on Thursday after apparently being forced off a flight because of a dispute with crew members over how his son was wearing his mask.
Cody Garbrandt, who shared a video of the incident on Instagram, indicated the issue arose because his 2-year-old son “wouldn’t put his mask over his face.” A point-of-view video shows one flight attendant hide in a bathroom as Garbrandt approaches. Another crew member shuts the bathroom door and tells Garbrandt “you need to turn it off” and “exit the aircraft please.”
“Fuck @southwestair got kicked off because my 2-year-old son wouldn’t put his mask over his face. This coward flight attendant hid his bitch ass in the bathroom”. Cody wrote in the caption of the video he posted.
A second video posted by Cody Garbrandt, without audio, shows three members of the flight crew wearing masks as he exits the plane – but not the two pilots, which Garbrandt took umbrage with.
“Kicking a (2-year-old) off a plane ride but your captains aren’t wearing their masks, while we all are full capacity sharing the same air! What a joke,” Cody wrote in his caption, which included the airline’s official Instagram handle.
The airline states on its website that “a properly worn mask completely covers the nose and mouth, is secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head, and fits snugly against the side of the face”. The mask policy states that “young children under the age of 2” are exempt; Garbrandt’s son is 2.
In a statement to MMA Junkie, a Southwest spokesperson said: “We regret this family experienced any inconvenience during their travel. However, federal law requires Southwest to ensure every person age 2 and over wears a mask at all times throughout a flight, including during boarding and deplaning. In this situation, the customers opted not to fly on Southwest, and they were offered a full refund of their tickets.”
Cody Garbrandt hasn’t fought since his knockout win over Raphael Assuncao last June at UFC 250, which snapped a three-fight losing skid. On the strength of that performance, Cody was scheduled to challenge Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title on Nov. 21 at UFC 255, but Garbrandt was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID.
Garbrandt tested positive for COVID-19 in October and has been sidelined since after suffering from long-term complications. The former UFC bantamweight champion is now thought to be fully recovered, however, and is expected to return to the octagon sometime later this year.
“I was positive for COVID Aug 29th,” Garbrandt explained in a social media post. “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 terms.”
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