Cody Garbrandt out of flyweight title fight against Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 255, Alex Perez chosen as replacement

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Cody Garbrandt’s quest to win the UFC flyweight championship will have to wait.

Garbrandt on Friday confirmed an initial report by Combate that he is out of a planned UFC 255 headliner opposite flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo. He indicated that he had torn a biceps muscle on Monday.

Though Garbrandt told the UFC he could be ready to fight by the end of December, the promotion opted to replace him and give No. 4 ranked flyweight Alex Perez the shot. Garbrandt, who would be making his UFC flyweight debut, will have to wait until 2021 for a shot at the belt.

The next flyweight champion: Garbrandt in 2021?

F—in’ tore my bicep on Monday. Title shot in 2021,” Garbrandt wrote in a Twitter comment.

I asked the UFC for an end of December fight. They decided to (go with a) replacement, which is understandable, but you can’t fight destiny. 2021, I’ll be the World Champ.

Garbrandt (12-3) is the former UFC bantamweight champion. Garbrandt was set to make his first appearance in the 125-pound division against Figueiredo. The Ohio native previously held the UFC bantamweight championship after defeating Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 in 2016, but then lost it in his first defense opposite T.J. Dillashaw. After a second consecutive loss to Dillashaw, Garbrandt defeated top bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao at UFC 250 in June before deciding to make the move to 125 pounds.

Perez, who had been set to face fellow contender Brandon Moreno at UFC 255, slides into the position with a golden opportunity.

There are those who felt Perez (24-5) was more deserving of the title shot than Garbrandt. Perez entered the UFC through the Dana White’s Contender Series. He’s made the most of his opportunity by going 6-1 with four of those victories via stoppage, including three consecutive wins and back-to-back wins inside the distance. Perez has won three straight fights, including a first-round TKO of Jussier Formiga at UFC 250. The 28-year-old has yet to compete for a championship in the UFC since joining the promotion in 2017.

Figueiredo will be making his first title defense. The Brazilian won it by defeating Joseph Benavidez at UFC Fight Night in July. The “God of War” is 19-1 in his mixed martial arts career and has won four straight fights since losing to Formiga in March 2019. Figueiredo (19-1) captured the championship, plowing through Joseph Benavidez by first-round submission to win his first world title at the end of July.

UFC 255 features a double main event with men’s and women’s flyweight title fights. Valentina Shevchenko will defend her title against Jennifer Maia in the women’s bout.

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