A rib injury has forced featherweight champion Jose Aldo out of his title fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 189, making the former challenger a -190 favorite (bet $190 to win $100) versus replacement Chad Mendes, who is a +155 underdog (bet $100 to win $155) as the two battle for the interim belt on July 11 in Las Vegas.
McGregor (17-2), the feisty, trash-talking Irishman ranked No. 3 at 145 pounds by the UFC, is a perfect 5-0 since joining the organization and has won 13 in a row overall since suffering his last loss nearly five years ago. He has scored a TKO victory in three straight fights along with four of his past five.
Meanwhile, Mendes (17-2) is no stranger to the spotlight as the second-ranked UFC featherweight contender, losing only twice in his MMA career with both setbacks coming against Aldo for the championship.
The last title matchup between Mendes and Aldo took place at UFC 179 last Oct. 25 and went the full distance of five rounds, resulting in a unanimous decision win for the champion, who still faced one of the toughest challenges of his career in what was named Fight of the Year in 2014.
But the main event is not the only title fight at UFC 189, as welterweight champion Robbie Lawler will put his belt on the line against No. 2 contender Rory MacDonald in the co-main event.
Lawler (25-10, 1 No-Contest) upset former champ and current No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks via split decision at UFC 181 last Dec. 6 and previously defeated MacDonald by split decision as well at UFC 167 in 2013.
However, the current champ Lawler is still a +145 underdog against the Canadian challenger MacDonald (18-2), who is the -175 favorite in their rematch and coming off an impressive third-round TKO of Tarec Saffiedine after scoring consecutive UD wins over Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley to earn the title shot.
MacDonald’s only two career losses have come against Lawler and former interim champ Carlos Condit at UFC 115 five years ago.