UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will attempt to make the fifth straight defense of his 145lbs. title this coming January against powerhouse wrestler Chad Mendes. Making the defense on his native soil in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aldo is taking extra measures to ensure that he’s fully prepared to deal with Mendes’ grappling; Sherdog reports that Aldo has extended an invite to lightweight wrestling expert Gray Maynard to help him train for his upcoming title defense.
“We have a big interest in bringing Maynard to train with me,” Aldo said. “He has such strong wrestling (base) and we want people that (have) the same game Chad Mendes does. Mendes is a competitive and hard guy to fight. Me and Maynard have been in touch since UFC 136, and he also said it’s his will to train with us at Nova Uniao, but nothing is confirmed thus far, especially because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m waiting for the answer.”
Aldo will fight in Brazil for the first time since 2007 and will main event his first UFC show ever, something that he’s campaigned UFC president Dana White for since he was declared the UFC featherweight champ last year.
“It’s gonna be great to fight here in Rio, even more being the main event,” he said. “I’ve been asking Dana White and he promised me a main event. The time has come and nothing is better to be here in Brazil, where I was born and raised. I’m really looking forward to this day.”