Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo was hailed as the biggest fight of the year. So grand in scale that the UFC booked them on a pre-fight, trash talking world tour to ramp up publicity on a global scale. Despite the welterweight championship tilt in the co-main event featuring Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald, UFC 189 was the McGregor/Aldo show. Now it's the McGregor/Chad Mendes show.
Reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo was forced to withdraw from the UFC 189 spectacle due to a fractured rib suffered during a sparring session, and now Chad Mendes will battle with Conor McGregor for the interim 145 lbs. title. Despite Aldo's last minute withdrawal, UFC president Dana White firmly believes UFC 189 will shatter pay-per-view records:
"He was medically cleared, but he decided to not fight," White told hosts Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier on UFC Tonight. "He stood to make a lot of money in this fight. The bigger issue was making weight. You lose a fighter like Jose Aldo and put Mendes in and we added to the gate. This fight is breaking every record, pre-buys on PPV, traffic on the website, it's bigger than UFC 100. This will be the biggest fight ever."
UFC 100 is the most successful UFC pay-per-view of all time, netting a whopping 1.6 million PPV buys. The success stems from WWE mega star Brock Lesnar -- who headlined the event with a heavyweight title fight against Frank Mir -- and Canadian hero Georges St-Pierre, who defended his welterweight strap against Thiago Alves in the co-main event.