Fears of Jose Aldo’s withdrawal from UFC 189 have come to life as it was announced yesterday that the featherweight champ will not be defending his belt against Conor McGregor in the main event. Aldo suffered a rib injury during a sparring session last week and it’s been decided that the bruising, or fracture — depending on whether you listen to Brazilian or American doctors — is too severe for Aldo to compete.
Aldo vs. McGregor had been hailed as the most promoted fight in UFC history and the most anticipated featherweight fight of all-time. UFC president Dana White isn’t too thrilled about Aldo’s departure from the card after spending months promoting the fight and flying the two rivals around the globe on a world tour. The head promoter vented his frustration to ESPN yesterday evening:
“Jose Aldo has pulled out of five title fights,” Dana said. Conor is ready to go, the No. 1 guy in the world, Mendes, is ready to go so it makes sense that they fight for the interim title. Whenever Jose Aldo is ready we can make the fight to unify [the belts]. It was his decision [to pull out of the fight]. We don’t feel great about it — we spent a lot of money promoting that fight, a lot of people were anticipating that fight. It’s definitely disappointing.”
The Brazilian will sit on the sidelines mending his ribs while Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes will battle for the interim featherweight championship on July 11 for the new UFC 189 main event.
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