Cody Garbrandt hospitalized, out of UFC on ESPN 8 co-main event against Raphael Assuncao

Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt has been forced out of his upcoming fight against Raphael Assuncao at UFC on ESPN 8 in Columbus, Ohio.

Garbrandt was hospitalized in New Jersey this week due to kidney issues and he’s currently booking travel back to his home state of Ohio to see a specialist in Cleveland. Unfortunately, Garbrandt’s medical condition will keep him from facing Assuncao in his home state on March 28.

ESPN initially reported the news regarding Garbrandt’s withdrawal from the card.

 “I honestly don’t know what it is,” Garbrandt said on Thursday. “A month ago, I had cellulitis in my shin. I went to the hospital and got that cleared with antibiotics. I got back into training, but then last Friday, the lymph nodes in my groin were inflamed and I didn’t feel well. I thought it was just due to rough training.

“On Saturday, I had flu-like symptoms. The lymph nodes were so inflamed I couldn’t walk. I took an Uber to the hospital and did a bunch of tests on my blood, kidneys, CAT scan. The doctor sent me home and 20 minutes later I felt even worse and started pissing blood.”

A longtime member of Team Alpha Male, Garbrandt had actually moved his training camp to New Jersey where he was working with head coach Mark Henry.

Now he’ll be forced to the sidelines as he seeks to get back into the win column after suffering three straight knockout losses to T.J. Dillashaw in a pair of fights as well as his most recent outing against Pedro Munhoz.

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Status of UFC on ESPN 8 in Columbus undecided amidst coronavirus restrictions

UFC on ESPN 8 is slated to take place in Columbus, although there’s still no official word if the card will move ahead following Governor Mike DeWine announcing plans on Wednesday to issue an order regarding mass gatherings in the state due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Both the NBA and MLS have suspended play and the Columbus Blue Jackets, who play in the same arena where the UFC card is set to take place, announced plans to hold games without any fans in attendance.

Bernie Profato, the executive director of the Ohio Athletic Commission, told The Athletic that the UFC is already making back-up plans for UFC on ESPN 8 if they are not allowed to have fans in attendance.

“I just got off the phone with the UFC an hour ago, and they’re planning on coming here,” Profato said. “But I know for a fact, they did tell me that if they can’t bring fans, then they’re already looking at a backup facility, a small facility there in Las Vegas. They’re not going to bring everybody here if they can’t have fans at the event.”