The UFC got some bad news Wednesday when word came that Jose Aldo, the UFC featherweight champ and one of the two or three finest fighters in the world at any class, is once again relegated to the shelf after suffering another injury.
He was set to defend his belt Aug. 2 at UFC 176 in a rematch with Chad Mendes. There was no immediate word on a new main event for the card or the nature of the injury that sidelined Aldo.
The news was first reported by broadcaster Ariel Helwani on the UFC Tonight cable program (h/t Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting):
Jose Aldo injured, out of UFC 176 title fight with Chad Mendes http://t.co/bllNh8BXmP&mdash'>http://t.co/bllNh8BXmP">http://t.co/bllNh8BXmP— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) July'>https://twitter.com/guicruzzz/statuses/484488184307671040">July 3, 2014
UPDATE: Per Mike Chiappetta of Fox Sports, Aldo fell while training and suffered what appeared to be fairly serious back and neck injuries.
It is the latest in a frustrating litany for Aldo, who, at just 27 years old, has already defended the UFC title seven consecutive times. His biggest enemy is certainly his own body, and this mysterious injury is just the newest case in point.
Aldo's UFC debut against Erik Koch was removed from UFC 125 after Aldo suffered a neck injury. After stringing together three consecutive wins between spring 2011 and winter 2012, Aldo suffered a series of injuries and complications (including some that resulted from a motorcycle accident) that kept him on the sidelines for a year.
A broken foot after his fight with Chan Sung Jung resulted in another delay.
It would not have been the first time Aldo and Mendes locked horns. They did so in January 2012 at UFC 142. Aldo won by first-round knockout.
Even with his injury history, Aldo is 24-1 as a pro MMA fighter, including a perfect 6-0 mark in the UFC. He most recently fought in February, when he won a convincing decision over Ricardo Lamas. Still, because of injuries, he has only been able to fight an average of 2.5 times per year. Many fighters enter the cage four times or even more in an average year.
The UFC 176 card does not appear to have a ready-made new main event on its roster as currently constituted. The co-main event pits Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza against Gegard Mousasi, which is a terrific match but probably not main event material.