This Saturday, the wait is finally over and Conor McGregor will meet Chad Mendes in the main event of UFC 189. A great matchup, without a doubt. But not the particular matchup that everyone wanted to see. When featherweight champion Jose Aldo had to pull out last week due to a broken rib, the fight lost a lot of it's magic.
Chael Sonnen, never shy of commenting anything UFC related, stated on the latest episode of the MMA Hour, that not only would he have decided to fight, no one would have known about his injury in the first place.
"I would never come in with an excuse. If I had a broken rib, you damn sure would never know about it. If one of my teammates came out and did an interview about how he broke my rib, he's no longer my teammate. It's a simple as that. I would never discredit the sport or my opponent by reading my injury list before or after the fight. I've always thought it's a very underhanded thing to do and it's a very cowardly thing to do, to come out and say I'm hurt, particularly if you win a fight. [...] Your message is very clear. You're saying, I beat you, and had I been healthy, I would've beaten you even easier. So as far as legacy goes, the one thing that I'm proud of was that I would always compete. I was looking to compete. I was never a bully, I would take on everybody at anytime. Whether that was the No. 1 guy in the world or whether that was the No. 100 guy in the world, it didn't make any bit of different. If somebody wanted to fight, I would show up and fight."
One of Jose Aldo's teammates broke the news of the injured rib two weeks ago. From there on it has been a back-and-forth if the champion will be able (and cleared) to fight or not, until Aldo pulled out of the bout himself last week. Chad Mendes, who was initially booked as a plan-B opponent, will fight McGregor for the interim belt now.