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BJ Penn supports Jose Aldo: 'the lion doesn't care that the sheep laugh at him'

UFC Hall of Fame inductee BJ Penn agrees with Jose Aldo pulling out of UFC 189.

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UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo was the subject of heavy criticism when he pulled out his main event title fight with Conor McGregor. McGregor vs. Aldo was billed as the fight of the year, with both featherweight studs fulfilling media obligations on a global scale when the UFC conducted a world tour earlier in March.

UFC 189 was as much McGregor vs. Aldo as it was Ireland vs. Brazil. Two nations were set to collide for UFC 189, so it came as a massive blow when the reigning champ announced his withdrawal from the event after suffering a rib injury during a sparring session.

Aldo's rib injury set the MMA world abuzz with controversy, as conflicting medical diagnoses from the Brazilian and American medical authorities elicited doubts over the severity of Jose's injury. UFC president Dana White was vocal with his disappointment over the situation when he announced the news on ESPN.

Chad Mendes defended Aldo from any further backlash during the pre-fight workouts last week and now former two-division UFC world champion BJ Penn has offered his support for the injured champ.

"Aldo, you're the old lion," Penn told reporters at a recent UFC fan expo. "You're the champion. You're the one with the record, you're the one with the gold, you're the one with all the records. The lion doesn't care that the sheep laugh at him. Remember that. The lion just stays there. The animals make noise and tease. The guy with the belt is the lion."

"If Aldo is not 100 percent, I do not want to see him inside that ring."

BJ Penn announced his retirement after losing a third time to Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale. Penn's name will be forever remembered in the MMA history books, as it was announced in May that the former lightweight and welterweight champion will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Despite suffering a rib fracture, Jose Aldo claims he'll be back in training in just two weeks and is eager to step in the Octagon to 'smash' Conor McGregor.