Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo took an errant kick to the ribs while training for his UFC 189 pay-per-view (PPV) title defense against Conor McGregor, scheduled for July 11, 2015 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The result was a fractured rib, which could sideline "Junior" until October.
Now, the sparring partner who did the damage, 5-0 Nova Uniao lightweight Alcides Nunes, is breaking his silence over rib-gate, and insists the inadvertent injury was a direct result of mimicking the "Notorious" style, all while striking on a sweaty gym mat.
"Gari" opens up to MMA Fighting:
"I threw a kick but slipped with all the sweat on the mat, and ended up hitting his rib. I was mimicking McGregor's unorthodox style, things he does in the fight. I'm also left-handed, my style is similar to his, so that's why they asked me to be part of his camp, but I ended up slipping and causing this injury. I'm still sad about all this. As a fan and an athlete, I know this is devastating. I'm really sad. Aldo was in shape and prepared for this fight."
A follow-up test on Thursday will determine if Aldo is unfit to compete.
In the meantime, it's "business as usual" for McGregor, who predicted a similar scenario all the way back in December. While the mixed martial arts (MMA) world waits on pins and needles, several featherweight contenders have volunteered to step in.
MMA Fighting Jose Aldo speaking about the fight in late March