It looks like Conor McGregor has a new dance partner.

On Tuesday, just a week removed from learning reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo had injured his rib in training camp, UFC President Dana White announced their Brazilian superstar had officially been pulled  from his main event title fight against Irish sensation Conor McGregor at UFC 189 next month.

As result, former title contender Chad Mendes will now meet McGregor for the interim featherweight title.

“Aldo’s rib is too painful and he will not be fighting,” White stated during an appearance on ESPN. “Chad Mendes will fight Conor McGregor for the interim belt…It’s [Aldo’s] decision. I don’t feel great about it. We’ve spent a lot of money promoting this fight and a lot of people were excited. It’s definitely disappointing.”

This news should be especially disappointing for MMA fans as an earlier report from UFC stated it Aldo had simply bruised his rib and was expected to remain in the fight against McGregor. However, Aldo’s coach Andre Pederneiras had conflicting a report that stated it was indeed a fractured rib.

McGregor (17-2) will be looking to extend his 13 fight win streak, which includes five straight under the UFC banner. In his most recent effort, the Dublin native scored a dominant second-round TKO victory over Dennis Siver in the main event of UFC Fight Night 59 in July. Prior to this win over, McGregor plastered MMA veteran Dustin Poirier en route to a violent TKO win just two minutes into their UFC 178 matchup in September. He will enter this bout with 16 career stoppage, including 15 by way of knockout.

His new opponent, Mendes (17-2), is coming off a violent knockout win over fellow title contender Ricardo Lamas in March. This got ‘Money’ back into the win column after dropping hard-fought decision to Aldo at UFC 179. For 25 minutes the two Octagon warriors battered each other in front of a sold-out crowd in Rio de Janeiro, resulting in one the most thrilling fights in all of 2014 and arguably the greatest featherweight fight in UFC history. Prior to this setback, the man known as ‘Money’ rattled off five straight wins, with four of them ending in violent knockout, giving him nine in his career.

UFC 189 is set to take place on July 11 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A welterweight title fight between reigning UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald will serve as the co-main event.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on, and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.