Jose Aldo, whose rib injury opened the way for Conor McGregor to become the interim UFC featherweight champion at UFC 189, said he did not watch McGregor’s bout with Chad Mendes.
“It’s funny. When my friends aren’t fighting, I don’t even watch it,” Aldo said, per Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. “‘Dede’ talked to me about it, said it’s cool, that it was a good fight for us. He saw his game, that Chad was winning while he had gas, and that they shouldn’t have stopped the fight. But when I’m not fighting, I don’t read or watch anything.”
Aldo, who is undefeated since joining the UFC, was originally scheduled to defend his featherweight title against McGregor but was ruled medically ineligible last month. The outspoken Irishman went on to stop Mendes in the second round, bringing his own UFC record to 6-0.
Aldo commented on his rib injury and how it was a tough fight to miss: “We considered fighting (McGregor) injured, I like those big events, and I was training well. We asked for a deadline to try to recover and fight injured, but I wasn’t recovering as expected. I still feel the pain. I would have fought if I could, but I couldn’t.”
“I was upset with this injury,” he continued. “This was one of the biggest fights in the history, and we had all the promotion, everything that was needed.”
Aldo’s health will largely determine the next move for the featherweight division, as Aldo-McGregor could be rescheduled, or McGregor could put the interim title on the line against Frankie Edgar. UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Brett Okamoto of ESPN that the organization tentatively has a Jan. 2 unification fight lined up at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Aldo wants to get back to training in two weeks,” Andre Pederneiras, Aldo’s coach, said to Cruz. “I don’t believe Frankie Edgar will fight Conor first. Aldo will be cleared to fight before the end of the year, in November or December. That’s what I think, but I’m not a doctor. We can’t rush anything. He will come back when doctors tell him he’s cleared and there’s no risk of getting injured again.”
Aldo also said he’d be open to fighting McGregor in his home country if UFC finds that location more amenable. He also sent a message to his potential opponent, saying that he could “say whatever he wants, but his weapons are nowhere near what I’m showing him.”
Either way, it’s looking increasingly like the prediction of this being the “biggest fight in the history of the UFC,” as stated by Bleacher Report‘s Riley Kontek, will come to fruition.
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