Jose Aldo Jr. reportedly fractures rib, leaving UFC 189 main event up in the air
If you are an MMA fan, you might want to be sitting down because this is going to hurt a bit.
According to a report from Brazilian outlet Combate, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo Jr. suffered a fractured rib during a mid-week sparring session and his fight with Conor McGregor is in jeopardy.
The July 11 bout is set to headline UFC 189 and the company’s annual International Fight Week. The week is filled with fight festivities, a fan expo, fighter meet and greets, and countless other activities for the visiting throngs of fight fans making the pilgrimage to Sin City.
The UFC has invested plenty in the Aldo-McGregor main event and a potential cancellation to the biggest fight in featherweight history has fans and media on the edge of their seat as the combat sports world awaits official word from Aldo's camp.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Aldo’s name has been linked to injury. In fact, Aldo has pulled out of four other UFC fights (UFC 125, UFC 149, UFC 153 and UFC 176) during his half-decade reign atop the 145-pound division.
After fighting three times in 2013, Aldo has managed just one fight since, and the fight with McGregor has earned the Brazilian the most attention his career; this, despite the fact “Scarface” hasn’t tasted defeat in nearly a decade.
A replacement could theoretically be brought in for McGregor. However, given his marquee value and contender status, it is hard to imagine the UFC risking the payday that would come once Aldo heals up by throwing McGregor into a stopgap fight.
If the UFC 189 main event does fall to the wayside, the co-main event welterweight title fight between champion Robbie Lawler and Canadian Rory MacDonald will almost surely be slotted in as a replacement.
The fight serves as a rematch of a 2013 bout at UFC 167, in which Lawler defeated MacDonald via split-decision. The victory over MacDonald paved the way for Lawler’s series with then-champion Johny Hendricks and eventual UFC gold.
But while a second fight between Lawler and MacDonald should be entertaining, it certainly isn't on par with Aldo-McGregor.
So now we await official word on whether the fight will carry on as planned on July 11. UFC president Dana White, for one, isn't ready to jump to any conclusions.
— Dana White (@danawhite) June 23, 2015
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Ryan McKinnell is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports Cagewriter blog. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!