Jose Aldo received heavy backlash for pulling out of his championship showdown with Conor McGregor at UFC 189 two weeks ago. The featherweight champ was forced to withdraw from the main event at the last minute due to a fractured rib suffered during a sparring session. Conflicting medical reports from the Brazilian and American authorities have elicited controversy over Aldo's injury. American doctors cleared 'Scarface' to fight, but Brazilian medical examinations revealed a fractured rib.
For all coverage on UFC 189, click here.
Expectedly, Aldo's Irish nemesis Conor McGregor blasted the champion, advising him to use 'a little bit of ice, little bit of ibuprofen and a little bit of toughen the f-ck up.' UFC president Dana White also expressed disappointment with the situation in an announcement on ESPN on July 1.
Bombarded with criticism from fans, fighters, and promoters, Chad Mendes shielded Aldo from any further backlash at the UFC 189 open media workouts on Wednesday:
"What sucks for Aldo is that he just gets injured a lot," Mendes said. "It's something that's been reoccurring, so a lot of people are just starting to get irritated, I think. But like I said, injuries are really out of our hands, guys. We train, we try to be as safe as we can, but you do realize this is MMA, this is a sport where we're continuously beating on our bodies every single day. We try to take all the precautions we can, all the right gear and stuff to keep from that stuff happening. But a lot of this stuff you just can't control it."
Despite battling back and forth with Aldo in a five-round war at UFC 179, Mendes has formed a friendship with his former opponent on Twitter after asking for the support of the Brazilian fans in Jose's native tongue:
— chad mendes (@chadmendes) July 7, 2015
The respect is mutual and I'm looking forward to fight u Again, because I know you'll beat the Joker up! U can count on my fans!@chadmendes!
— Jose Aldo Junior (@josealdojunior) July 8, 2015
In a report conducted by sportsofanarchy.com, it was revealed that Jose Aldo is one of the most notorious fighters for pulling out of fights due to injury. UFC 189 marks the sixth time the Brazilian has withdrawn from a title fight and Chad Mendes feels sympathy for the battle-scarred champ:
"Man, that sucks," Mendes said. "It's a tough thing to go through. It was a long training camp, I would imagine. Having to do all the media tour and traveling all over the world to do all that kind of stuff to promote this fight and right before you're getting an injury before to where you can't fight."
If Mendes beats Conor McGregor to claim the interim title at UFC 189 tomorrow night, expect to see the Californian battle with Aldo for a third time in the near future.