Cody Garbrandt was supposed to fight John Lineker on Sunday night in Pittsburgh, and it appears that will still be his next bout once the Brazilian recovers from a case of Dengue fever he recently contracted.
Lineker’s sickness forced him off the UFC Fight Night card and he was replaced by submission specialist Augusto Mendes, who accepted the fight with Garbrandt on just six days’ notice.
The change didn’t seem to affect Garbrandt too much because he put Mendes away with an impressive first-round TKO to get his third win since joining the UFC more than a year ago.
Following the victory, Garbrandt said he spoke to UFC executives who informed him that he’s still expected to face Lineker next as soon as the Brazilian gets cleared medically.
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"We just talked to (Sean) Shelby and (Lorenzo) Fertitta and (John) Lineker’s my next bout as soon as he gets healthy and goes and gets cleared from another blood test," Garbrandt revealed at the post-fight news conference.
"Whenever that’s done, whenever it’s going to be put together I’m ready for it. I’d like to fight March 5 (at UFC 196), but he isn’t going to be healthy by then."
There’s no exact time line for when Lineker could return, but typically the symptoms for Dengue fever last between 10 and 14 days. Assuming he’s healthy again in a couple of weeks and cleared from the disease, the UFC could certainly re-book the fight with Garbrandt for one of the upcoming cards ahead of the summer.
Whether it’s sooner or later, Garbrandt knows that he’s still getting the fight he was promised and now he’s just waiting on word for the official date to finally meet Lineker in the Octagon.