Jose Aldo’s status for UFC 189 remains uncertain. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
The health of Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo has the MMA world on edge, as an injured rib has placed his anticipated showdown with Conor McGregor at UFC 189 on July 11 in jeopardy. At a press conference following Shooto Brazil 55 on Friday in Rio de Janeiro, Aldo’s longtime coach and mentor, Andre Pederneiras, addressed the Nova Uniao standout’s status:
Question: Is Aldo going to fight?
Pederneiras: We will not know exactly until next week. He is being evaluated by the doctor. Yesterday, he got a [plasma-rich platelet] injection in his bone and is now being treated and waiting for improvement.
Question: What exactly was the injury he suffered?
Pederneiras: There are different reports from United States and Brazilian doctors. I’m not a doctor to tell which one is correct. The only thing I know is that he has an injury to his ribs, and anyone who has had an injury to the ribs knows how painful that is. Just to give you an idea, when Aldo coughs, he feels pain. Now, he is under the effects of anti-inflammatory medicine, so we have to wait until next week to see if he will fight or not.
Question: Do you think this injury can influence the fight?
Pederneiras: I think Aldo is so superior to McGregor that if he steps in that Octagon, he will win.
Question: What about the weight-cutting process?
Pederneiras: If he can’t do exercises to cut weight, he will not fight. If he can’t do some shadow boxing or running, he will not fight. Nothing is assured now, not even the trip to Las Vegas.
Question: Is there any possibility he fights not being at 100 percent?
Pederneiras: It will be hard for him to be 100 percent recovered, but if he can absorb punches without the strong pain he is feeling today, he will fight. He broke his foot in the first round against “The Korean Zombie” and fought four more rounds.
Question: How does this impact him psychologically?
Pederneiras: There are different factors. One thing is his mind and the other is what he is feeling. We will just allow him to fight if he is fine.
Question: What do you think about the idea of instituting an interim title in the event Aldo cannot fight?
Pederneiras: The UFC is a private company, and they will make the best decision for them. The rest of us can accept it or not. Aldo fought in October, nine months ago. The other champions who were not able to fight were given much more time before an interim belt was set up. For Aldo to break his leg and not fight for two years is one thing. Aldo has a rib injury. To have to wait three weeks is another thing. Do we think it would be fair to bring in an interim belt now? Of course not, but like I said, the UFC is a private company and they have the right to do what they want. Is it fair to have an interim belt considering the business side of it? Yes. Would it be right from the sporting side of it? For sure, it would not be. You have to choose which side to go.
Question: Is the UFC pressuring Aldo to fight?
Pederneiras: No, zero pressure. The biggest proof of that is that the UFC is already getting Chad Mendes ready to fight in his place.
Question: How do you feel about the decision to choose Mendes in the event Aldo cannot fight?
Pederneiras: Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar are at the top of Aldo’s division. Chad Mendes is a great athlete. Am I 100 percent sure he will win against McGregor? No, not with him getting 18 days’ short notice for a five-round fight. If Mendes had two or three months to train, I would 100 percent bet on him.