UFC bantamweight John Lineker has fallen victim to the dengue fever epidemic in Brazil, and had to withdraw from Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 83 card in Pittsburgh.
Lineker was supposed to face Cody Garbrandt on the UFC Fight Night 83 main card, but after becoming one of more than a thousand people to contract dengue fever in Paraná, he had to withdraw from the fight. His current medical condition is not clear.
News of Lineker’s withdrawal was initially reported by Brazilian news outlet Portal do Vale Tudo.
A statement released to Lineker’s Instagram account in Portuguese explained that despite taking all the necessary precautions, Lineker contracted the disease and his platelets became too low for him to fight Garbrandt on Sunday. He apologized to fans and Garbrandt.
UFC officials had not responded to a request for information at the time of publication. It is unknown whether or not the promotion is trying to find a replacement to keep Garbrandt on the card or if they are taking some other action.
The loss of Lineker from the card is the latest significant hit to UFC Fight Night 83. The main event initially featured Donald Cerrone vs. Tim Means, until Means was pulled for a possible Anti-Doping Policy infraction. Cerrone now faces Alex Oliveira in Pittsburgh’s headliner.
This past weekend, a featured welterweight fight between Brandon Thatch and Siyar Bahadurzada was removed from the card and shifted to UFC 196. Thatch was denied clearance by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, even though the medication Pennsylvania would not approve is acceptable under UFC, United States Anti-Doping Agency, World Anti-Doping Agency, and Nevada Athletic Commission policies.
UFC Fight Night 83: Cerrone vs. Oliveira takes place on Sunday, Feb. 21, at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.