The UFC injury plague strikes again, this time it looks like it’ll jeopardize the highly anticipated fight between Brazilian Jose ‘Scarface’ Aldo and Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor.
News broke on Twitter last night fromthat Aldo had sustained a rib injury, while sparring with the former UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barão.
Twitter did not react well to the possibility of another high profile mixed martial arts match being axed. In fairness, people have taken time off from work, booked flights and hotels, for this once and a lifetime showdown in Vegas, so frustration is understandable.
UFC President Dana White tried to dampen down the social media hysteria tweeting:
Speaking about Aldo’s fractured rib, his coach Andre Pederneiras said: “If the fracture is really confirmed, Aldo will have to stop training, do nothing for three or four weeks until it’s fixed, and then he would be able to do any exercise without forcing his rib. And then he would need a normal time to do a training camp: three months. I believe this fight wouldn’t happen before October.” The question is will Conor McGregor wait till October to fight for the belt? Or more importantly, does the UFC want to risk its golden boy losing before one of the most lucrative fights in years? This morning McGregor posted the a message, indicating that he’ll still be fighting on July 11th.
Just know that it is business as usual up here at the top. See you all on July 11th. pic.twitter.com/WXGPRFWj0y — Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 24, 2015
Talk then turned to who’ll be in the running as a possible replacement fighter? Frankie Edgar said he would take the fight on short notice, Chad Mendes has been touted, Dennis Bermudez threw his name into the hat, as well as bantamweight Urijah Faber.
UFC commentator Jon Anik said: “I believe this fight is going to happen at one point or another, even if they have to delay it until September. I would be surprised if they proceeded with Chad Mendes or Frankie Edgar. All of that said, because Conor McGregor has such a huge following and so many people are making the trip, maybe they’re going to keep him on the 189 card at all costs.
Anik added: “Obviously we’re just ingesting this news today, I have to be optimistic that Jose’s injury is a real slight fracture to the rib and will be something that he can fight through. There are a lot of different injuries that you can fight through, at least from the views of some of the fighters I’ve been texting back and forth with over the last hour, since the news broke. A rib is not really something you want to mess around with though, and not something an athlete can really afford to fight with, if indeed it’s cracked severely, so it’s just crazy.”
There’s been no official cancellation of the fight yet by the UFC, no doubt they’ve been scrambling all night to figure out what is the best solution is.
Figures released last week indicated that the Aldo vs McGregor fight was on course to reach 1 million pay-per-view buys. That figure could have risen with the the hype and promotion of the next fortnight, allowing McGregor to accomplish his goal of beating the UFC’s highest PPV number, 1.6 million, set at UFC 100 in 2009.
Do they put McGregor on the sidelines for a few months, or do they match him up with what people say is his greatest achilles heel, a wrestler? Will the UFC go all in, endangering their most promising cash cow in years? UFC match-making is meticulously planned out months in advance, so the next chess move for Irishman could define his whole career.
UFC 189 takes place on July 11th, 2015