Conor McGregor doesn't think there's any good reason why injured Jose Aldo shouldn't show up to fight in two weeks.
Aldo has a bruised rib and cartilage damage, but has every intention of defending his featherweight title against McGregor in the main event of UFC 189 on July 11 in Las Vegas, according to the UFC. However, there is a contingency plan with Chad Mendes filling in and facing McGregor for the interim belt if Aldo can't go.
"Just toughen up and show up," McGregor said. "Many people have stepped inside the Octagon with little, itty bitty bruises. We all have knocks and bruises. Dust it off and step up. Step up and fight like a man. Fight like the championship you should be."
Aldo and McGregor went on a five-country world tour on private jets in April and the UFC has spent more money promoting this fight than they ever have. Aldo will also get paid more for UFC 189 than previous bouts. So, it's not a huge surprise that the champion wants to fight despite his medical records in Brazil showing he has a fracture.
"There's a lot on the line," McGregor said. "A lot of money, a lot of pride. There should be no reason to pull out of this contest. But if he does, that's on him and I cannot force another individual to step in there. If I ask myself truly, would I like to step in there and face me, I'd probably go running, too. If it's little mini Mendes, we'll smoke him, too."
McGregor (17-2) has rounded into one of the UFC's biggest stars. He's the main reason why the gate at MGM Grand is expected to exceed $7 million and the pay-per-view buy numbers could approach -- maybe even exceed -- 1 million. However, a big part of that is Aldo (25-1) fulfilling his end of the bargain and making that walk.
McGregor, 26, said he won't target Aldo's ribs. He doubled down in the interview with Anik that he'll continue to try and "crack" Aldo's chin the way he has been training to do.
As good as Mendes is, all of these things are predicated on Aldo being the one across McGregor on July 11.
"I hope Jose shows up and fights like a man," McGregor said.