UFC fans can breathe a sigh of relief as it seems as if the biggest fight of the year, a featherweight title tilt between reigning 145-pound kingpin Jose Aldo and Irish sensation Conor McGregor scheduled for July 11, 2015 at UFC 189, is still on.
It was shockingly reported earlier this week that Aldo had suffered a fractured rib, putting the bout in jeopardy, with many believing that it would not happen. However, it has now been made clear that the champion only suffered a bone bruise to his rib and that he still plans to fight in a few weeks, with the UFC having former title challenger Chad Mendes on standby incase “Scarface” cannot make it on fight night.
Some have said that the news of the rib injury could be very detrimental to the champion, not only because he will not be 100% healthy, but because it gives McGregor an area to target. However, speaking with MMAJunkie, the brash Irish knockout artist said that he doesn’t care about Aldo’s ribs, he’s hunting for the chin:
“I’m going to go for the chin; I want to knock him out,” McGregor said. “He doesn’t need to worry about his ribs, and I’m not going to go out and purposely target an area. If he shows up and fights, which he should do, we’ll fight as scheduled.
“I’m not going to start diving at things. I’m just going to fight my fight. It’s the chin I am hunting.”
As far as the possibility of fighting Mendes for an interim belt, the challenger said that it’s just part of the game, something that has to be dealt with:
“It’s part of the business,” McGregor said of the change. “It is what it is.”
Mendes wasn’t the only option for the UFC, however, as many other fighters offered up their services to step in if needed, including the presumable next title challenger Frankie Edgar. Even the often complaining hardly fighting lightweight Nate Diaz offered to fight McGregor, and it was made clear on this week’s edition of UFC Tonight that the UFC was actually considering it.
McGregor said that he could have fought at 155-pounds, and that he just wanted to fight at UFC 189, not have the bout pushed back as thousands of Irish fans will be making the trip to Las Vegas. At the end of the day, the “Notorious” one states that no matter what happens, he will fight on July 11, 2015 at 145-pounds and walk away with a UFC title:
“As long as I am fit and I am healthy, I feel it’s only right that I show up and fight, so 155 was an option because the Aldo fight was looking to be rescheduled until September,” McGregor admitted. “But now, now I don’t know. I don’t give a f-ck really. I don’t care. I’ll be there July 10 at 145 pounds, and on July 11, I will have a gold belt wrapped around my waist. So everything else means nothing to me.”
As one of the biggest fights in history, McGregor obviously hopes Aldo shows up on fight night, telling the champion to take a little bit of ibuprofen and toughen up:
“It turns out it’s just a bruised rib,” McGregor said. “Little bit of ice, little bit of ibuprofen, little bit of ‘toughen the f-ck up,’ and we should get on with the fight.”
The outspoken Irish superstar is confident no matter who it is, noting that he’d whip both opponents on the same night if need be, saying that whoever shows up gets beat:
“I’m just preparing to get better,” McGregor said. “That’s it. I show up at the gym looking to become a better martial artist.
“I’ll whip both of them on the same night if need be. So whoever shows up across the octagon will get beat.”
Whether it’s Aldo or Mendes, will McGregor walk away from UFC 189 with featherweight gold strapped around his waist?