The UFC 189 main event title fight between Conor McGregor and featherweight champ Jose Aldo was put in jeopardy last week when it was reported that Aldo had suffered a rib injury in training. Now, everyone’s worst fears have been realized as Jose has officially pulled out of the fight on June 30th.
McGregor will now face Chad Mendes for the interim 145lb championship. The fight will remain in the main event slot.
“Andre Pederneiras, his coach, called and basically said his rib is too painful and he will not be fighting, so Chad Mendes will now fight Conor McGregor for the interim belt,” UFC president Dana White explained on SportsCenter.
“It’s his decision,” White said of Aldo. “I definitely don’t feel great about it. We spent a lot of money promoting this fight. A lot of people are excited about the fight, so it’s definitely disappointing.”
Aldo consulted with a doctor yesterday to get official clearance to compete at UFC 189 against Conor. According to the Irish contender, the Brazilian champ was indeed cleared but pulled out regardless. For McGregor, fear is the only explanation.
“If a man is scared for his life, we cannot force him to step inside and face me,” McGregor added when he joined White on SportsCenter. “I feel he’s afraid. The doctors have cleared him to fight, it’s a bruise, but he has still pulled out. Rightfully so, the belt should be taken from him and we should contest for the interim belt or, in my opinion, the real belt,” McGregor added.
UFC 189 is set to take place on Saturday July 11th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.