After some encouraging news that it was only a bruised rib, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo officially pulled out of UFC 189, which will take place on July 11th in Las Vegas, after releasing x-rays to prove his injury is in fact a broken rib.
Check out the full statement, released by Aldo, below:
For three months, I trained three times a day. I invested my time and money, bringing training partners from Brazil and other countries, to do the best training camp of my life so I would be ready to defend by belt for the eighth time on July 11. Unfortunately, I fractured my rib during a training session, which I can prove from an official medical report, and besides trying my best to fight, I was forced the other way and that made me really sad. Only I, my family, coaches and teammates know how hard I worked to represent Brazil again.
My decision was made in respect to the UFC and the fans that today see me as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I couldn’t fight without being 100 percent physically and with a rib injury that could get worse if I got hit in the ribs. Many people told me to fight anyway because of the money I could make, but I wouldn’t sell myself for any money, no matter how much. I fight for love and I do it for my country. Money comes in second place, it’s like a shadow: when you try catching it, you can’t, but when you move forward, it follows you. Money ends some day, but legacy and things you do becomes part of the history, and that’s what I value the most.
I’m the UFC champion since April 2011, defended my belt seven times in four years, and will do it for the eighth time in 2015, an average of twice a year. And I’m not even mentioning WEC, a Zuffa-owned company, like the UFC, where I became the champion in 2009 and put my belt on the line twice in less than a year. That why I can’t agree with UFC’s decision to have an interim champion in my division citing the five opportunities that I couldn’t defend my belt.
If those fights had occurred, I would have done 12 title fights in four years in the UFC, an average of three fights a year, something that no other UFC champion did. A UFC champion rarely does three title defenses in one year. So that can’t be the main reason why they are creating an interim title, but the UFC is a private company which I work for, so I can’t complain about its decision, but I can’t say I agree either.
As of my opponent, who told me to step up and fight like a man, I can’t say anything about a man that imitates a TV series character (Travis Fimmel, from Vikings). That’s really who he wanted to be, because he’s probably ashamed of being who he really is, so he imitates his lines, his style and this actor’s tattoos. He’s an artist, but not from martial arts, but cheap comedy. It’s disrespectful with the actor, and with real athletes. He should look for a stage and not an Octagon. The Octagon is my kingdom and there’s place for only one king, which is me. If he wants to participate, he can be the joker he already is.
If he beats Chad Mendes, the only thing he will have is a toy belt to show his friends, drunk in his country’s bars, because that’s what an interim belt represents to me: a toy. I am the champion.
McGregor will now face Chad Mendes for the interim title.
Tonight’s UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero event takes place in Hollywood, Florida, and will play free on Fox Sports 1 (main card – 10pm) and Fox Sports 2 (prelims – 8pm). Below you can see The Cage Report‘s staff picks.
All staff members have Machida (22-6) beating Romero (9-1), Carlos Junior (4-1) beating Gordon (7-3), and Santos (10-3) beating Bossé (10-1); Paul, Alina, and Rob agree on Larkin (15-4) beating Ponzinibbio (20-2) but Roger has the underdog Ponzinibbio taking the win. Paul is the only staffer picking Makashvili (7-1) winning over Dias (22-3). Make sure to watch the fights tonight to find out who will win.
Middleweight – Lyoto Machida vs. Yoel Romero
Paul: Lyoto Machida
Alina: Lyoto Machida
Roger: Lyoto Machida
Rob: Lyoto Machida
Welterweight – Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Lorenz Larkin
Paul: Lorenz Larkin
Alina: Lorenz Larkin
Roger: Santiago Ponzinibbio
Rob: Lorenz Larkin
Middleweight – Antônio Carlos Júnior vs. Eddie Gordon
Paul: Antônio Carlos Júnior
Alina: Antônio Carlos Júnior
Roger: Antônio Carlos Júnior
Rob: Antônio Carlos Júnior
Middleweight – Thiago Santos vs. Steve Bossé
Paul: Thiago Santos
Alina: Thiago Santos
Roger: Thiago Santos
Rob: Thiago Santos
Featherweight – Hacran Dias vs. Levan Makashvili
Paul: Levan Makashvili
Alina: Hacran Dias
Roger: Hacran Dias
Rob: Hacran Dias