It only took one week after the UFC announced that Jose Aldo would compete at UFC 189 for the feather weight champion to officially withdrawal from his fight against Conor McGregor. On Tuesday the announcement was made my president Dana White on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Conor McGregor was seated right beside him.
“Andre Pederneiras, his coach, called and basically said that Aldo’s rib is too painful, and he will not be fighting,” White said. “So Chad Mendes now will fight Conor McGregor for the interim belt. Jose Aldo’s pulled out of five title fights. Conor’s ready to go. The No. 1 guy in the world, Chad Mendes, is ready to go. So it makes sense. They’ll fight for the interim title, and whenever Jose Aldo is ready, then that fight can happen to unify.”
It was reported last week that Aldo had suffered a broken rib in a sparring session and that he was doubtful for the bout with McGregor but that there was still hope. A little less than 24 hours after the initial report the UFC released an official statement saying that Aldo had only suffered bone bruise and that he would still be able to compete at UFC 189. The UFC also announced a back up plan in Chad Mendes if Aldo were not able to make it on July 11.
For the UFC and MMA fans plan B will now have to do for now. Mendes will now take on McGregor in a much less hyped bout but having McGregor fight on pay-per-view is better than not having him fight at all.
White elaborated his feelings a little more about Aldo pulling out of get fight, “It’s his decision. I don’t feel great about it. We’ve spent a lot of money promoting this fight. A lot of people are excited about the fight, so it’s definitely disappointing.”
Disappointing is an understatement but if you were to survey fans on the possibility of Aldo actually showing up at UFC 189 after last week’s reports the overwhelmingly majority would have Aldo pulling a no-show. At least fans had a week to thing about the possibility of Aldo/McGregor not happening.
Of course McGregor was not one to hold his feelings back either, “If a man is scared for his life, we cannot force him to step inside and face me. I feel he’s afraid. The doctors have cleared him to fight – it’s a bruise. But he has still pulled out. So rightfully so, the belt should be taken from him and we should contest for the interim belt – or in my opinion, the real belt.”
All of the hype surrounding the bout has been because of McGregor’s words and actions towards Aldo. The promotional tour the UFC has sent the fighters on is unprecedented. He and Aldo have been doing media tours for this bout for months now.
“I just feel he was beaten mentally before I had the chance to beat him physically. I felt through the (UFC 189) ‘World Tour,’ he was looking for his way out and thankfully for him, his coach, his team, they have found their way out,” said McGregor.
UFC 189 will take place live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 11 and can be seen on pay-per-view.