In sad news for MMA fans, Jose Aldo has officially pulled out of his title defense against Conor McGregor. Dana White officially made the announcement on last night’s edition of Sportscenter, stating that McGregor will fight Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title on July 11.

Jose Aldo Pulls Out

Last week, Aldo’s coach, Andre Pederneiras, stated prematurely that the champion received a broken rib while sparring with Alcides Nunes. However, UFC doctors later announced it was just a bad bone bruise and Jose, as long as he is ready, will fight McGregor on July 11.

But Dana White was recently contacted by Andre, who claimed the injury was simply too painful. “[Aldo] will not be fighting,” White told Sportscenter. “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.”

The main reason for making this an interim title match was Aldo’s history of pulling out of title defenses, according to White. This latest would be the fifth time and the worst considering the amount of money UFC has thrown at this bout: many believed this fight could have potentially broke UFC’s previous pay-per-view record.

As for McGregor, who predicted this outcome in 2014, he called Aldo scared. “If a man is scared for his life, we can not force him to step inside and fight me,” McGregor stated. “Doctors have cleared him to fight — it’s a bruise — but he still pulled out. Rightfully so, the belt should be taken from him and we will contest for the interim belt or, in my opinion, the real belt.”

Conor McGregor Will Fight Chad Mendes

But this did not change his outlook on the match, as he still predicts a first round knockout against Mendes. “I’m going to demolish [Chad Mendes]. I’m going to rip his head off,” McGregor said. “I’m confident going against any man on the roster. I feel I’m number one on the roster. That’s why an opponent change doesn’t matter. Essentially the opponent is an illusion in there — it’s you versus you. It does not matter who’s across from me July 11.”

So tune in on July 11 to see Conor McGregor fight Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title.

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