José Aldo: “The interim belt is a toy belt. I’m the champion!”

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José Aldo Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

José Aldo Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

José Aldo Jr is not happy at all.

He’s not happy with the rib injury he suffered, he’s not happy that he had to pull out from the fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 189 and mainly he’s not happy with the UFC decision of making Conor and Chad Mendes fight for an interim belt.

The undisputed featherweight champion released a statement today about the situation.

Here are the main topics (translated from Portuguese):

The injury

“For three months I dedicated myself to three sessions daily and invested a lot of money to have the best camp of my life in order to defend my title for the 8th time on July 11. Unfortunately, I suffered a rib injury, which was attested by Doctors, and despite all my efforts I was forced to pull out from the fight. I’m really upset by that.”

The decision not to fight 

“I decided not to fight out of respect for the UFC fans, as they consider me the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound. I could not fight without being physicallyat 100% and also the rib injury could get worse if I was hit at that spot. A lot of people told me to fight regardless the injury and pointed out the amount of money I would get paid. I have never fought for money, but for the love I have for what I do and also I fight for my country.”

Interim title

“I’m the featherweight champion since 2011. I defended my belt seven times in four years, an average of two title fights per year. Not to mention the belt I had at WEC, which I won in 2009 and defended twice in less than a year. Therefore, I cannot agree with the UFC’s decision of instating a interim belt for my division, only because I missed 5 title defenses. If I had fought all of those times, I would have defended my belt 12 times in four years, an average of 3 per year. Something UFC champions rarely ever did.”


“My would be opponent is a fool. He’s an artist, but not a martial artist. He should look for a stage and not the octagon. The octagon is my kingdom and if he wants to be a part of it, he will have to play the part of the fool. If he beats Chad Mendes, he’ll have a toy belt to play with and to show off to his friends, while drunk at the bars of his country. For me the interim belt is a toy. I’m the champion!”


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