UFC featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo has rarely shown weakness during his impressive four-fight title run, but neither has his impending opponent Chad Mendes during his eleven-fight, undefeated career.
Aldo and Mendes will face off next Saturday, January 14, at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the main event of UFC 142. Though Aldo is widely considered to be the favorite and Mendes has immense respect for the champion’s skills, he believes he’s assessed Aldo thoroughly and put together the game plan to succeed where most everyone else has failed.
“I definitely have seen things that give me confidence,” Mendes said when asked on yesterday’s conference call if he’s spotted any holes in Aldo’s game. “I don’t think Jose has any holes or any cracks in his game. I think, if anything, he has some areas that aren’t quite as strong as others. But I definitely don’t see any holes. I feel the same way about my game, I don’t feel like I have any holes. I’m young in the sport, but I’m learning fast and I feel great about every part of my game. … Definitely those last two fights are fights I’ve watched, a lot and have sat down and picked apart and it’s something that’s helped us put together a great game plan for this fight.”
For his part, the champion believes that Mendes has deficiencies in his game just as he does and that the victor of their bout will be decided by who trained harder.
“Nobody’s perfect. Everyone’s got holes in their game, including myself,” said Aldo. “I was able to get a lot of pointers from watching a lot of the tapes, but really it comes down to being well-trained and going out there and seeing if the training was well worth it. … I feel that I was able to find a few things and I’ve been working on that. We’ll have to see on the fourteenth.”