The UFC have revealed the news all Irish MMA fans had been praying for - Jose Aldo did not break a rib and has got the go-ahead from doctors to fight Conor McGregor in a world title showdown in Las Vegas next month.
Fears had escalated earlier this week that the fight was in doubt after it was revealed that defending featherweight champion Aldo had hurt his rib during training with reports claiming it may be broken.
But, in a statement issued early this morning, the UFC confirmed that Aldo suffered a bruise to his rib but it is NOT broken.
But the UFC also stated that if Aldo is not fit to fight in the MGM on July 11, McGregor (17-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) he will still fight Chad Mendes (17-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) for an interim belt.
“In light of recent reports regarding the status of UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, UFC has received official medical confirmation from several doctors that Aldo did not suffer a broken rib,” the statement reads.
“Following a review of the scans, it has been determined that the champion suffered a bone bruise to his rib and cartilage injury during training.
“With this news, Aldo has expressed that he has every intention of facing Conor McGregor at UFC 189.
“While Aldo has indicated that he will compete in Las Vegas on July 11, UFC has confirmed a contingency plan. No.1 featherweight contender Chad Mendes will face McGregor for the interim UFC featherweight championship in the event Aldo cannot compete. UFC remains committed to delivering the featherweight and the welterweight championship fights at UFC 189 during UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas.”
The news that Aldo will be fit to fight will also come as a welcome relief to UFC chiefs with the bout expected to generate record income.
Aldo's sparring partner, Alcides Nunes, had been mimicking McGregor's spinning back kick when he slipped on a sweaty mat and accidentally caught undefeated Aldo in the ribs.
"I threw a kick but slipped with all the sweat on the mat, and ended up hitting his rib," Nunes told MMAFighting.com.
"I was mimicking McGregor’s unorthodox style, things he does in the fight. I’m also left-handed, my style is similar to his, so that’s why they asked me to be part of his camp, but I ended up slipping and causing this injury."
Nunes said that Aldo initially continued training after receiving the blow but was eventually brought to hospital.
"He finished the round, and then decided to stop," Nunes said. "I’m sure he would continue to train if he could. He’s a warrior and was really well prepared for this fight.
"I’m still sad about all this," he said. "As a fan and an athlete, I know this is devastating. I’m really sad. Aldo was in shape and prepared for this fight."
One of the biggest fights in UFC history is in serious jeopardy after a featherweight champ Jose Aldo suffered an innocuous rib injury during a sparring session as he prepared to face Ireland's Conor McGregor.