The MMA fight of the year is back on track. Cathal Noonan/INPHO

UFC confirm that McGregor vs. Aldo will go ahead as planned

However, there’s a replacement opponent on standby just in case.

IT HAS BEEN confirmed that Jose Aldo is still on track to defend his world title against Conor McGregor on 11 July.

The reigning UFC featherweight champion is due to face the Irishman in the main event at UFC 189 in Las Vegas in 16 days’ time.

Reports emerged from Brazil on Tuesday which claimed that Aldo had suffered a fractured rib during a sparring session.

However, the Ultimate Fighting Championship moved to allay the worst fears of fans overnight by confirming that the injury isn’t as serious as was initially suspected.

The organisation also revealed that if Aldo does eventually opt to withdraw, McGregor will take on top contender Chad Mendes for an interim title instead.

Mendes would represent a much different challenge for McGregor. Although he’s been beaten twice by Aldo, the 30-year-old American is an elite wrestler with the potential to ask serious questions of McGregor’s often-criticised ground-game.

A statement from the UFC said: “In light of recent reports regarding the status of UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, UFC has received official medical confirmation from several doctors that Aldo did not suffer a broken rib.

“Following a review of the scans, it has been determined that the champion suffered a bone bruise to his rib and cartilage injury during training. With this news, Aldo has expressed that he has every intention of facing Conor McGregor at UFC 189.

“While Aldo has indicated that he will compete in Las Vegas on July 11, UFC has confirmed a contingency plan. No. 1 featherweight contender Chad Mendes will face McGregor for the interim UFC featherweight championship in the event Aldo cannot compete.

“UFC remains committed to delivering the featherweight and the welterweight championship fights at UFC 189 during UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas.”

Reacting to the news that his bout against Aldo is still set to go ahead, McGregor took to Twitter to deliver a typically McGregor response.

It’s a positive development for the thousands of Irish fans planning to travel to Las Vegas for the fight. Even if Jose Aldo does decide to pull out, Conor McGregor has a UFC title bout to look forward to on 11 July nevertheless.

‘See you on July 11th’ – Conor McGregor takes to Twitter to reassure fans

Persistence pays off as Ireland’s Cathal Pendred added to UFC 189 card

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