The UFC 189 main event mega-match-up between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor underwent a scary moment earlier this week, when reports out of Brazil indicated that Aldo had suffered a fractured rib, putting the fight in jeopardy.
Further analysis indicated a “bone bruise to his rib and cartilage injury during training.,” according to the UFC, which also indicated that Aldo wants to try and remain in the fight.
“While Aldo has indicated that he will compete in Las Vegas on July 11, UFC has confirmed a contingency plan. No.1 featherweight contender Chad Mendes will face McGregor for the interim UFC featherweight championship in the event Aldo cannot compete.”
But that’s not the end of the story. It is not a given that Aldo will remain in the fight. In fact, his coach, Andre Pederneiras, at a Friday press conference at a Shoot Brazil event, indicated that his fighter’s participation is still very much undecided.
It won’t be left until the last minute, but a decision won’t be made until sometime in this coming week, as to whether or not Aldo will be in good enough shape to face McGregor, or if the UFC will move ahead with Plan B.
Here are Pederneiras’ comments from the press conference, courtesy of Sherdog.com’s Marcelo Alonso…
Question: Is Aldo going to fight?
Pederneiras: We will not know exactly until next week. He is being evaluated by the doctor. Yesterday, he got a [plasma-rich platelet] injection in his bone and is now being treated and waiting for improvement.
Question: What exactly was the injury he suffered?
Pederneiras: There are different reports from United States and Brazilian doctors. I’m not a doctor to tell which one is correct. The only thing I know is that he has an injury to his ribs, and anyone who has had an injury to the ribs knows how painful that is. Just to give you an idea, when Aldo coughs, he feels pain. Now, he is under the effects of anti-inflammatory medicine, so we have to wait until next week to see if he will fight or not.
Question: Do you think this injury can influence the fight?
Pederneiras: I think Aldo is so superior to McGregor that if he steps in that Octagon, he will win.
Question: What about the weight-cutting process?
Pederneiras: If he can’t do exercises to cut weight, he will not fight. If he can’t do some shadow boxing or running, he will not fight.
Question: Is there any possibility he fights not being at 100 percent?
Pederneiras: It will be hard for him to be 100 percent recovered, but if he can absorb punches without the strong pain he is feeling today, he will fight. He broke his foot in the first round against “The Korean Zombie” and fought four more rounds.
Question: What do you think about the idea of instituting an interim title in the event Aldo cannot fight?
Pederneiras: The UFC is a private company, and they will make the best decision for them. The rest of us can accept it or not. Aldo fought in October, nine months ago. The other champions who were not able to fight were given much more time before an interim belt was set up. Do we think it would be fair to bring in an interim belt now? Of course not, but like I said, the UFC is a private company and they have the right to do what they want.
Question: Is the UFC pressuring Aldo to fight?
Pederneiras: No, zero pressure. The biggest proof of that is that the UFC is already getting Chad Mendes ready to fight in his place.