Article

Aldo Out of 189; Mendes to Face McGregor

UFC 189 has a new main event. Featherweight champion Jose Aldo has withdrawn from his July 11 title defense against Conor McGregor due to an rib injury. Chad Mendes, who had been on standby since news of Aldo's injury broke, will now face McGregor for the interim 145-pound crown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - OCT. 25: (R-L) Chad Mendes punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their featherweight championship bout during UFC 179. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)McGregor, appearing with UFC President Dana White on ESPN SportsCenter Tuesday evening to break the news, sat stonefaced as he addressed the situation with his typical flair.

"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."

The buildup for Aldo vs. McGregor was unprecedented. A World Tour centered around the rivalry, with Aldo and McGregor traveling around the globe and building the heat between the two featherweight stars. But last week, word surfaced that Brazil's Aldo suffered a rib injury in training. Doctors determined that the rib wasn't broken, but the injury is apparently severe enough to force the longtime champion out of the bout.

McGregor isn't buying it.
 

"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."

BOSTON, MA - JAN. 18: (L-R) Conor McGregor of Ireland punches Dennis Siver of Germany in their featherweight fight during UFC Fight Night. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)As for Mendes, a two-time title challenger whose only pro losses have come against Aldo, McGregor has not lost an ounce of his confidence in regard to his new opponent.

"I'm gonna demolish him,” McGregor said. "I'm gonna rip his head off."

Added McGregor, "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."

It may not be the fight everyone expected, but McGregor-Mendes still promises to be a memorable one.

"I think it's gonna be a great fight," 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.”

Media

Recent
Las Vegas’ two biggest names gear up for their monumental showdown. Conor McGregor continues to perfect his skills in the gym, as his coaches talk glove size and Game of Thrones. Floyd Mayweather and his team come out swinging at Topgolf.
21/08/2017
Watch the fighters of Week 7's Tuesday Night Contender Series face-off.
21/08/2017
Watch music video featuring newly-released track from The Killers, “The Man". Legendary Floyd “Money” Mayweather faces all-time MMA great “The Notorious” Conor McGregor in an unprecedented event - live Saturday, Aug. 26 at 9PM ET/6PM PT on SHOWTIME PPV.
20/08/2017
Check out Conor McGregor's final fight before he joined the UFC at Cage Warriors 51 on December 31, 2012 for the lightweight belt. Just like in the UFC he became Cage Warriors first ever two-division champion.
19/08/2017