For obvious, monetary reasons, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has a vested interest in making a fight between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and interim champion Conor McGregor happen at UFC 194.
Considered the biggest mixed martial arts show of the year, the promotion’s year-ending pay-per-view would likely take a big hit if either its champion or its challenger were to suffer an injury that forced him out of competition. You know, just like it did at UFC 189, when Aldo suffered a rib injury weeks before he was originally set to face the Irishman in July.
Not one to lean on a rabbit’s foot for his good fortunes, Fertitta reportedly bought Aldo a protective vest in hopes of preventing another rib injury.
What’s more, the reigning featherweight champion is actually using the protective gear ahead of his UFC 194 showdown with McGregor, his wife told UFC Brazil.
“Of course he can hurt the knee, the pinky finger, but fighting is a contact sport,” she said (h/t MMA Mania).
Aldo was reportedly injured back in June by one of his sparring partners who was brought in to mimic McGregor’s unorthodox striking style. One swift kick to the ribs and the UFC’s blockbuster bout that once was, was no longer.
The featherweight matchup isn’t the only title match on the board for UFC 194. UFC middleweight king Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold also lock horns for the title at 185 pounds. Taking place on Dec. 12, UFC 194 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.