Leave it to Fox Sports analyst and former UFC middleweight Brian Stann (pictured) to state the obvious as to why reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo will likely defend his throne against Conor McGregor at UFC 189 despite having an injured rib. To quote the great Wu Tang Clan, “Cash rules everything around me: CREAM, get the money. Dollar, dollar bill y’all.”
“I think he makes the walk based on the financial impact alone,” Stann told MMAFighting.com. “Here’s the positive things for Jose Aldo going into this fight: This fight is going to make him an awful lot of money — win, lose or draw. He’s the only featherweight champion in history. I think he merits, no matter what, an immediate rematch if he were to lose this fight. For him, he takes the fight, there’s already a built-in thing where if the performance is terrible people are going to point to the ribs first. And there’s great build-up for a rematch and he’ll get another great payday.”
For a UFC champion who hasn’t been shy about expressing his displeasure in the numbers on his paycheck, Stann’s theory for Aldo competing in 12 days makes perfect sense. The last time Aldo’s salary was disclosed was four outings ago when he made $240,000 (half coming via win bonus) for beating Frankie Edgar at UFC 156.
Aldo will make at least that amount in disclosed salary at UFC 189, but the undisclosed portion is what will make the once-homeless Brazilian a very rich man. As champion, Aldo will score a percentage of the show’s pay-per-view buys. UFC president Dana White claimed earlier this month that the event was trending towards over a million buys.
It is believed McGregor will also get a piece of the PPV.
Stann came correct with another reason why Aldo should keep his appointment, should doctors clear him. The legacy factor. There are only a few mixed martial artists today who can legitimately make a run at MMA’s Mount Rushmore, and being the only featherweight champion the UFC has ever known who has posted nine straight title defenses (two in WEC), Aldo is one of them.
“If he wins, coupled with this [injury], you’re talking about the legacy of a guy who’s already gotten an incredible one,” Stann added. “He’s a guy who — and I’ve called two of his fights now — I think is the most skilled fighter on the planet when you encapsulate all the areas. He’s the guy whose legend grows to what we saw with B.J. Penn. When B.J. Penn was in his prime, people were just in awe of him.”
Two doctors have provided conflicting reports to the condition of Aldo’s rib injury. The Brazilian doctor said it was indeed fractured, which would make it nearly impossible for the Nevada Athletic Commission to clear Aldo to compete in Las Vegas on July 11, while the American doctor claimed it was merely a bone bruise to his rib and cartilage injury.
A more concrete answer on Aldo’s condition is expected early this week.
If Aldo can’t answer the bell, Chad Mendes will step in to meet McGregor for an interim featherweight title.