Aldo pulls out, McGregor-Mendes to headline UFC 189

Published on Wednesday, 7/1/15, at 1:35 a.m. Eastern.

Rory McDonald is a -175 'chalk' vs. Robbie Lawler in the UFC 189 co-main event.

Rory McDonald is a -175 ‘chalk’ vs. Robbie Lawler in the UFC 189 co-main event.

Jose Aldo officially pulled out of UFC 189 Tuesday night due to a rib injury suffered in training last week. Therefore, Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor (17-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will take on Chad ‘Money’ Mendes for the interim featherweight championship in 10 days.

The 145-pound scrap is scheduled for July 11 in the main event of UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In the co-main event, Robbie Lawler will make his first welterweight title defense in a rematch against Rory MacDonald.

As of early this morning, most books had McGregor installed as a -135 favorite, leaving Mendes as the +105 underdog.

McGregor had this to say about Aldo during a Sports Center interview on ESPN last night: “If a man is scared for his life, we cannot force him to step inside and face me. I feel he is afraid. The doctors have cleared him to fight, but he has still pulled out. Rightfully so, the belt has been taken from him. I feel he was mentally beaten. He was looking for his way out.”

When asked about Mendes, McGregor said, “I”m going to demolish him. I’m going to rip his head off.”

Aldo has now pulled out of five fights in his UFC career. By withdrawing, he will reportedly leave at least $3.5 million on the table. This was one the most anticipated fights in mixed martial arts history, prompting the UFC to conduct an eight-city, five-country promotional tour.

Mendes is coming off a first-round KO win over Ricardo Lamas that was preceded by his second loss to Aldo. The Team Alpha Male fighter will be getting a third shot at UFC gold.

Veteran Frankie Edgar, the former lightweight kingpin, is left to wonder why he didn’t get chosen to face McGregor ahead of Mendes.

McGregor, the brash Irishman who has become a superstar during a rapid two-year rise, sent out this tweet late Tuesday night.

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