To say that this claim from José Aldo's wife, Vivianne Pereira, is troubling is a vast understatement. She is essentially saying that Dana White pressured Aldo into fighting injured, as he didn't believe Aldo had suffered broken ribs - he thought, rather, that they were merely bruised.
Before they replaced Aldo with Chad Mendes for UFC 189, Dana White tried his best to give the people McGregor-Aldo ASAP rather than letting it happen when Aldo was healthy.
Here's what Pereira told Combate:
"Aldo was really injured, there’s video of it. The guy threw a spinning kick, hit his left rib and broke it. ‘Dede’ [Andre Pederneiras, Nova Uniao head coach] called me half an hour after going to the hospital to ask me to stay calm because they didn’t know if it was broken. We didn’t want to frighten anyone because we didn’t know if he would fight or not. After a while, ‘Dede’ calls me and say it’s broken and he would need three or four weeks to get back. It was two weeks before the fight, we were desperate."
The UFC president tried to convince him to get in the Octagon, even though Aldo's camp was pretty adamant that it wasn't the right move.
"And Dana calling, talking about numbers. It’s millions of dollars that you are losing. You have to fight. You never made this in your life’. Junior trying everything, doing everything. But they didn’t want to announce it because who else would they put in the fight? They spent millions on the fight. How would they say he broke his rib? They didn’t want to admit, they held it back, threw that on us, and we were saying it was broken.
"The commission wouldn’t let him fight with a broken rib. He would have to do exams before the fight. We wouldn’t want to say it was broken, but there was no other way. Would we turn ourselves into liars? It was a fight. Them saying it wasn’t broken, the doctor there saying it wasn’t broken, and there was this fight."
Obviously, these are strong words and a kind of brutal allegation. A UFC official had this to say to defend their guy...
"Jose’s health and safety were always a priority and we worked closely with he and his team to ensure that he had access to the best medical care and consultation after sustaining the injury. We respect and understand that he could not proceed with the fight at UFC 189 due to the injury. Both fighters have now arrived in Las Vegas for this historic event, and we’re excited that UFC 194 is just days away."
"We saw there was no way to fight. Life isn’t only about money, it’s 10 years of a career to get there and stay on top. Staying there isn’t easy. We made a decision, I was really bad, he was shaken. There were a lot of people buying tickets, a lot of friends. He wanted to fight. We had to give them an answer on Friday. ‘I will fight’."
"He was in pain, he couldn’t move, coughing and feeling hurt. He got up, packed his backpack and, by the time he got to the gym, ‘Dede’ asked ‘what are you doing here?’ He got ready, tried to do something and felt the pain. He cried of pain again. He couldn’t do it. He tried everything, but couldn’t do it. It was for the best to postpone and move on. It’s not going to shaken us. It was hard as hell. We suffered a lot."
I don't know if this is an effort to merely save face or whether there is any validity to these claims. I guess we'll find out this weekend, when Aldo and McGregor finally do face off...