Chad Mendes knows that he has made his run to another title shot on the heels of four finishes in five fights.
That doesn’t mean “Money” is going to simply ignore what has given him a solid base inside the Octagon when it comes to facing Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title tonight at UFC 179.
“Wrestling is always something I have,” said Mendes, during a recent edition of UFC Tonight. “I’ve made improvements and filled in holes. As far as striking, it’s mixed martial arts, you have to mix it up to beat the guy.”
Mendes (16-1) has won all five of his fights since a loss to Aldo in 2012, finishing Cody McKenzie, Yaotzin Meza and Darren Elkins inside the first round. He also became the first man to score a finish vs. Clay Guida when he finished him in the third last year.
While he was unsuccessful in his attempt to dethrone Aldo the first time around, Mendes knows he will be presenting “Scarface” with a unique challenge.
“I’m the only person to fight him twice. A lot of the guys fighting him experience a big intimidation factor,” he said. “But I’ve gotten in there, felt his power and gotten my hands on him and I truly believe I can beat this guy. There’s little things we’ve changed up from the first time. I have the striking now and I have the ability to knock him out.”
Those “changes” have turned Mendes into one of the top fighters regardless of weight class. He is 7-1 in eight UFC fights since coming over from the WEC, where he went 4-0.
“It’s been about two-and-a-half years since that first fight. That was the first fight that I flew across the country and fought away from home,” he said. “I didn’t know the system, I didn’t have anything down. I’ve fought four times in the UFC now. We have a head coach now. The first time we didn’t.
“I’ve closed some holes and tightened some things. He says he’s going to knock me out, but he’s going to be in for a rude awakening.”