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MMA Crossfire – UPDATED – Rib injury forces Jose Aldo to be replaced by Chad Mendes at UFC 189

After all of the buildup, Jose Aldo will not be defending his belt at UFC 189 against Conor McGregor.

That’s because a rib injury suffered during training will sideline the only featherweight champ the UFC has ever known.

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Chad Mendes will face Irish star Conor McGregor for the interim 145-pound belt instead July 11th at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Vegas.

McGregor was having none of it, however.

“If a man is scared for his life, we cannot force him to step inside and face me,” the Dubliner said. “I feel (Aldo) is 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.”

Irish featherweight Conor McGregor holds an open training session in a file photo. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Irish featherweight Conor McGregor holds an open training session in a file photo. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Doctors have determined that while the rib wasn’t broken, the injury is severe enough for the champion to postpone.

Recent developments indicate that Aldo’s injury is legitimate, courtesy of the revealing of Aldo’s x-rays on Twitter by Brazilian MMA reporter Ana Hissa and Divulgação.

Aldo also talked to Brazilian TV network Globo about the injury.

“I just feel he was beaten mentally before I had the chance to beat him physically,” McGregor said of Aldo. “I felt even through the World Tour and all the buildup he was looking for his way out, and thankfully for him, his coach and his team, they have found their way out.”

At any rate, McGregor must turn his frustration now on Mendes.

UFC 179
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 25: Chad Mendes of the United States punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their featherweight championship bout during the UFC 179 event at Maracanazinho on October 25, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

“I’m gonna demolish him,” McGregor said. “I’m gonna rip his head off.”

“I am confident going in against any man on the roster. I feel I am number one on the roster. That is why an opponent change does not matter. Essentially the opponent is an illusion in there. It’s you versus you, so it doesn’t matter who is across from me July 11. I will charge forward, I will put the pressure on, and I will get the victory.”

“I think it’s gonna be a great fight,” UFC president Dana White said. “If anybody doesn’t know, Chad Mendes just fought Jose Aldo in a five-round war, one of the best fights I’ve ever seen, so it should be fun.”


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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