So much for the biggest fight of the summer.
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has been forced out of his title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC 189 due to a rib injury. The Brazilian was injured in training last week, but there was hope that the injury would not prevent Aldo from competing.
As a result of the champion’s removal, McGregor will now face two-time title challenger Chad Mendes for the interim belt.
McGregor will enter the contest having yet to taste defeat inside the Octagon. The 26-year-old Irishman has compiled a 17-2 record, with his last five wins coming under the UFC banner. Four of McGregor’s UFC wins have come via strikes, including three inside the first round.
Mendes, meanwhile, will get another crack at UFC gold. The Team Alpha Male product has tasted defeat just twice in his career, both at the hands of Aldo. The 30-year-old was last in action in April, where he stopped another former title challenger, Ricardo Lamas, via first-round TKO.
UFC 189 takes place Saturday, July 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In addition to the featherweight title tilt, UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler will defend his belt against Canadian Rory MacDonald. The night’s main card will air live on pay-per-view. The preliminary card will be split between a broadcast on Fox Sports 1 and a stream on UFC Fight Pass.