The Aldo-McGregor fight is back on for UFC 189 next week and everyone seems to be happy. But the Nevada Athletic Commission can still ruin the party by not clearing the Brazilian to fight. Jose Aldo suffered what was first believed to be a fractured rib during sparring on Tuesday. Yesterday it was announced that the rib is bruised and Aldo will go on with the fight.
If the champion won't be allowed to go on with it, though, the UFC already has a backup plan set up. Number-one ranked Chad Mendes will serve as a so called stand-by opponent, who stays in shape until fight night, to jump in on a day's notice, if needed.
As Yahoo Sports reports, he will be paid for that role, regardless of wether he ends up fighting McGregor or not. According to the article, this is a usual procedure for the UFC.
For the record, White said Thursday that Mendes will be paid, regardless of whether he fights. White said the UFC does that frequently, and said it paid Jessica Eye to train and be ready as a backup to fight Ronda Rousey at UFC 184 in February if Cat Zingano wasn't able to make it.
Another interesting point in the article is, that Mendes agreed to be the stand-by guy without even knowing that he would be paid for it.
"Honestly, I don't know," he said. "I guess we're still talking. I don't really know. But they offered me the chance to be the stand-by fighter for UFC and, paid or not, I was all over it. I was 100 percent going to do it."
Mendes and McGregor had a few heated and public debates over the last years, even without a fight scheduled against each other.
"This guy has talked and talked and talked and for the last year, he's made it personal," Mendes said of McGregor. "I'm going to thoroughly enjoy punching him in the face. Getting in there and getting a belt against a guy like him, who in my opinion has a lot of holes in his game, is something I couldn't pass up. He's good. Don't get me wrong. He's got talent, but when you put aside the mouth and the marketing skills, he's not the kind of guy I see as a champion."
UFC 189 will take place July 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Until now, Jose Aldo will defend his belt against Conor McGregor. Should he not be cleared to fight, Mendes will jump in to fight McGregor for the interim title.