While Jose Aldo seems to be dead set on toughing out a rib injury to compete at UFC 189, his back up is already training hard with a mindset that he's the one already slotted to compete. Chad Mendes appeared at the MMA Hour to speak about his replacement slot, and he didn't mince words about Conor McGregor.
"As soon as they gave me the call and told me to get ready, I basically shut out any possibility that Aldo was coming back," Mendes said. "I'm treating this like I am fighting Conor for the title."
"I'm getting my weight down, I'm coming up with a game plan, going over it, fine-tuning cardio. I'm pretending like I'm getting in there and I'm fighting. That's my mindset. I wake up every morning, I gameplan stuff before I get out. Every single morning when I wake up, I'm excited. I think this is a great matchup for me."
"Conor is a tough guy, but, he is a guy that I know I can beat. He better pray that Aldo can get in there and fight because I am going to mess that dude up."
"He just went through an entire training camp for a guy that’s a Muay Thai fighter, and now he’s facing a guy that’s going to put him on his back," he continued. "If I could go out there and knock this dude out, I definitely think that’s a possibility. He takes a lot of punches in fights and comes in with his hands down a lot and he gets cocky in there a little bit. I feel like I have the power and the speed to put this guy out. If not I can see myself taking this dude out by taking him down and submitting him. I’ve seen past fights where he’s lost, got submitted. The guy, he’ll tap. He’s got that give up, that quit in him."
Aldo is set to train today, which would be his first session since the injury. He would have a better idea on where he is and whether Mendes will be slotted to the card or not.