UFC 189 underwent quite a transformation in the final month of the hype process. Featherweight champion Jose Aldo was forced off the card with an injured rib, after a few weeks of speculation by media and fans, following a mishap in training at Nova Uniao. The card marches on nonetheless, with adequate replacement Chad Mendes going up against heated rival Conor McGregor for the interim strap.
McGregor has blasted ‘Scarface’ at every turn since he was scratched from the card, and UFC president Dana White later revealed that Junior would have made a cool $4 Million from the headliner in Las Vegas this July 11th. Further to that, on UFC Tonight via Bloody Elbow, Dana White says that Aldo has just dropped out of the biggest car din UFC history:
“He was medically cleared, but he decided to not fight,” White told hosts Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier on UFC Tonight. “He stood to make a lot of money in this fight. The bigger issue was making weight. You lose a fighter like Jose Aldo and put Mendes in and we added to the gate. This fight is breaking every record, pre-buys on PPV, traffic on the website, it’s bigger than UFC 100. This will be the biggest fight ever.”
UFC 100 has long been the promotions PPV (pay-per-view) record holder with 1.6 Million buys. Headlined by WWE superstar Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, and backed up by Georges St-Pierre’s welterweight title tilt with Thiago Alves, the card was truly the pinnacle of the UFC’s growth to date. If what the UFC president says is true, then even Brock Lesnar can’t stop Conor McGregor!
Seriously though, Aldo clearly values his record and legacy more than money, and that’s not a bad thing overall. It sucked that we won’t get to see Aldo vs. McGregor yet, but it still could happen, and we are left with a very deserving bout in the meantime.
48 more hours….