UFC 189 dodged one bullet but now it’s time to avoid a knife stabbing. The UFC has officially announced that champion Jose Aldo’s ribs are not fractured so his mega fight with Conor McGregor is still on, but just in case the champ sneezes the wrong way before July 11th contender Chad Mendes is ready to step in. So basically for the next two weeks McGregor kind of has to prepare to fight both Mendes and Aldo.
Well at least Aldo and Mendes have very similar fighting styles? No, no they don’t. Well at least the UFC will give McGregor a full week or so to focus on just one opponent? Nope! McGregor’s head coach and headman over at SBG Ireland John Kavanagh explains how the choice between Aldo or Mendes at UFC 189 may come down to just 24 hours before the Las Vegas event kicks off.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission could stop this fight against Aldo on weigh-in day — the day before the fight. That’s when the pre-fight medicals are done. Aldo might still want it but the doctor can say no if he doesn’t believe he’s fit to compete. Then it’s basically out of the hands of Aldo, ourselves and the UFC. Enter Chad Mendes.
Mendes has been asked to make weight and he’ll be there, so it could be him stepping on the scales instead of Aldo for all we know. That kind of thing happens often at small regional shows, but this is for a UFC belt. That’s no big deal for us, though. It’s kind of exciting, to be honest. Who’s going to be on the scales when we turn up to weigh in? We won’t know until the day itself.
Kavanagh would go on to elaborate on how the negotiations between the featherweight number one contender and the UFC went. Spoiler alert McGregor slept through most of the drama.
Ultimately, a man with two arms and two legs will be standing across the octagon from Conor on 11 July. Whether that man’s name is Jose or Chad, nothing changes for us. I’m confident that Conor has the solution to both problems. At this level of mixed martial arts, I believe a fighter should be ready for any opponent at the drop of a hat.
It was UFC president Dana White who called me and asked how we felt about Chad Mendes stepping in to fight Conor for the belt. Conor was sleeping at the time so I walked into his room and told him it could be Mendes instead. He opened one eye, said ‘They’re all the same’ and then went back to sleep. That’s as far as any negotiation went.
The moral of the story really is that when you have the chance to take a midday nap you should do it. McGregor took a nap, the whole MMA world was turned on its axis, and everything worked out for the Irishman. Train like a champ, nap like a UFC champ!