The UFC is powering ahead as if the UFC 189 main event between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and challenger Conor McGregor is happening. They really have no choice because, at this point, it a happening. Nobody knows yet if Aldo will pull out of the fight or not… not even Aldo.
The doubt began when reports out of Brazil surfaced last week, noting that Aldo had suffered a rib injury in a Tuesday morning sparring session. Initial reports said that doctors in Brazil diagnosed the injury as a fractured rib, which would almost completely rule out Aldo’s participation. After further review of Aldo’s medical tests by doctors in the U.S., the UFC issued a statement saying that his rib was not fractured and that he intended to fight.
That’s the one thing that everyone agrees on: Jose Aldo wants to stay in the fight with Conor McGregor. It is shaping up to be the UFC’s biggest fight of the year, which means a huge boost to both men in terms of spotlight and pocket book.
Aldo had intended to go through a training session on Tuesday to evaluate the injury and make a decision about whether or not he would be able to fight next week, but that apparently has been put on hold until Friday.
Veteran Brazilian journalist Guillherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com on Tuesday Tweeted as much.
I’m told Jose Aldo will not train today. Official call apparently pushed back to Friday.
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) June 30, 2015
Aldo’s camp was not immediately available to comment on delaying the decision until Friday.
In the meantime, the Nevada Athletic Commission, which is charged with regulating the July 11 event in Las Vegas, appears prepared to give Aldo a green light if he and his camp deem him able to compete.
According to ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto, the Nevada Commission has been in contact with the UFC over the past week and the NAC’s medical consultant, Dr. Timothy Trainor, indicated that Aldo’s injury isn’t likely to prohibit him from fighting, although he is still reserving final judgment pending review of requested medical documents.
“Right now, according to Dr. Trainor’s communications with Dr. Davidson (the UFC’s medical consultant), it appears Aldo had a rib contusion and a cartilage injury,” said NAC executive director Bill Bennett. “Dr. Trainor is currently awaiting to see the medical documents and at this point in time, we think it is highly unlikely Aldo will have any trouble competing.”
If that is the case, it will purely rest on the shoulders of Aldo and his camp to determine whether or not the champion’s health is good enough for it to be a wise decision to fight through the injury. It now appears that decision is likely to be made on Friday.
If Aldo is deemed by his camp or doctors to be unable to compete, the UFC has a contingency plan in place. If Aldo is out, Chad Mendes, despite having two losses to Aldo on his record, stands at the ready to fight McGregor at UFC 189.