Cody Garbrandt needs a new opponent.
MMA Fighting confirmed with a source with knowledge of the promotion’s plans that Julio Arce is out of his upcoming matchup with Garbrandt, which was scheduled for UFC 285 on March 4 in Las Vegas. The news was first reported by Eurosport.
According to the source, Arce was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury “that will require surgery and about a six-month rehab.”
It is not yet known if a replacement opponent will be sought out to keep Garbrandt on the UFC 285 card or if he will be rescheduled.
Garbrandt was twice scheduled to fight Rani Yahya in 2022, but Yahya withdrew from both bouts, leaving Garbrandt without a fight since December 2021. In his most recent outing, “No Love” lost via first-round TKO to Kai Kara-France in his flyweight debut. The Arce bout was to be Garbrandt’s return to bantamweight, a division in which he won a UFC title in 2016.
Arce went 1-1 in 2022, earning a unanimous decision over Daniel Santos at UFC 273 and then losing on the scorecards against Montel Jackson at UFC 281.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.