The UFC was devastated earlier this week when the UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo pulled out of next weekend’s UFC 189, which was going to be the biggest event of the year, where he would headline with the ultra-popular Conor McGregor.
UFC President Dana White appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter along with Conor McGregor on Tuesday to break the news, and he seemed very unhappy, saying that this is the fifth time that Aldo has pulled out of a title fight, which is why next Saturday’s fight between McGregor and Chad Mendes — who is Aldo’s replacement — is for the interim title.
McGregor — who is never at a loss for words — said that Aldo was scared to fight him, and was looking for a way out, and when he bruised his ribs, he found one. He also said that he can’t blame Aldo for being scared, and that he’s going to finish his new opponent just as fast as he would have finished Aldo — within four minutes.
Right now, Conor McGregor is the favorite to defeat Chad Mendes on July 11, and if he does just that, he’ll become the interim Featherweight Champion, and he’ll end up facing Jose Aldo at some point later this year, possibly as early as this fall, and there’s no question that the UFC is hoping for that to be the case.
After two days, the UFC Featherweight Champion has broke his silence on his injury, and he confirmed that his ribs weren’t just bruised, and that they were, in fact, broken, by releasing a photo of his x-ray. Aldo said that he was trying his best to prepare for the fight after the injury, but, he couldn’t train through it. He also said that pulling out of the fight made him sad, which is very likely because the fight with McGregor would have been the biggest pay-day of his MMA career.
“For three months, I trained three times a day. I invested my time and money, bringing training partners from Brazil and other countries, to do the best training camp of my life so I would be ready to defend by belt for the eighth time on July 11. Unfortunately, I fractured my rib during a training session, which I can prove from an official medical report, and besides trying my best to fight, I was forced the other way and that made me really sad. Only I, my family, coaches and teammates know how hard I worked to represent Brazil again.”
Aldo also gave his thoughts on the possibility of McGregor becoming the interim Featherweight Champion, saying that the interim title will be nothing more than “a toy that he can show to his drunk friends in Ireland.”
“If [Conor McGregor] beats Chad Mendes, the only thing he will have is a toy belt to show his drunk friends in his country’s bars, because that’s what an interim belt represents to me: a toy. I am the champion.”
[Image via Esther Lin / MMA Fighting]