January 12, 2012 was the date that Jose Aldo knocked out Chad Mendes in the very first round to defend his UFC featherweight championship. Fast-forward over two years and the long awaited rematch is finally upon us.
At UFC 142, Aldo got the best of Mendes. There were complaints, however, in the end as Aldo grabbed the fence to stop a takedown. That little maneuver ultimately led to the fight-finishing knee, which knocked Mendes to the canvas, with just one-second left in the very first round.
The Team Alpha Male product has always been known for his aggressive wrestling and getting fighters to the mat. However, since the implementation of Duane “Bang” Ludwig to his arsenal, his stand-up game has caught up to his excellent takedown game. Since the loss, Mendes has won five in a row, with four of those being knockout finishes. The champion has not been as active, only fighting three times since their last outing.
Many feel that Mendes has gone through more of a transformation since the first bout than Aldo has. And if you simply look at the fights since UFC 142, then the picture is clear. Aldo has become a little more complacent, winning two out of the three via judges decision.
In August, Aldo and Mendes were expected to square off at UFC 176, however the 145-pound king pin was forced to pull out due to an injured he suffered during training and the event was ultimately cancelled.
The hype behind this fight is not what it should be — with Aldo arguably being the number two pound-for-pound fighter in the world and Mendes being the toughest test in the 145-pound division, one would expect more excitement.
UFC 179 takes place live on PPV this Saturday night (October 25, 2014) from the Ginásio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil