It’s been interesting to watch the fallout from Jose Aldo’s decision to drop out of his July 11th, mega-fight with Conor McGregor. Some have blasted the featherweight champ for doing so, and have sided with the narrative that McGregor has cultivated, that Aldo was medically cleared to fight, and therefore, he should have. It’s also safe to say that the UFC hasn’t really gone out of its way to say Aldo’s decision is understandable and or acceptable.
Others, however, don’t fault Aldo for deciding not to battle one of the sport’s best 145érs, and his biggest rival, with injured /fractured ribs. Many people from this camp also question whether we really want to the see the champ compete in the biggest fight of his career to date, at far less than 100%.
All this aside, there’s no denying the fact that the renowned fighter has pulled out of several fights due to injury, and has competed just 5 times since 2011. The champion recently argued, however, that most UFC champs don’t fight more than twice a year, and Aldo only failed to do that in 2012 (in terms of his UFC reign).
Well, Chael Sonnen recently spoke to MMA Junkie.com Radio, and the “American Gangster” relayed the following (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“I don’t think the UFC is going to be in a big hurry to put Jose Aldo back in the ring,” Sonnen said. “He is the champion, so per the competitive architecture, they’re going to have to. But – he burned them five times. As quick as you can get that belt off Aldo and not give him a shot to get it back, not only has he burned you five times, but he is the worst drawing champ of all time.”
By all accounts, Aldo hasn’t been a big draw in terms of pay-per-view buys, despite the fact he’s the greatest featherweight of all time. Of course, that was all going to change if he fought McGregor at UFC 189. It’s also worth noting that Aldo has criticized the UFC and MMA’s status-quo, in terms of fighter pay, so he’s probably not the promotion’s favorite fighter because of that.
Sonnen went on to say that he’s “confused” by how Aldo’s rib injury occurred, since according to him, the champ’s sparring partner should not have been going so hard, this close to a fight.
UFC 189 will go down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. As a result of Aldo’s withdrawal, Chad Mendes will face McGregor for the interim belt.