UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has remained close to untouchable during his title run, his biggest enemy some questionable cardio down the stretch, likely as a result of a drastic weight cut.
The 25-year-old Brazilian will face another dangerous challenger to his throne, the undefeated Chad Mendes, this weekend on home soil in Rio de Janeiro. Mendes is the kind of fighter that some hypothesize can exploit Aldo’s perceived biggest weaknesses, carrying the champ into deep water and wearing him down by use of his wrestling.
Having faced opponents of all styles – some very much akin to Mendes’ – Aldo is confident going up against the talented Mendes, regardless of the threats he poses.
“About his speed, it won’t be a problem. He’s always been an explosive fighter, but I’m an explosive fighter as well,” said Aldo. “I’ve been training jiu-jitsu since I was a kid, so if we both hit the ground, I will be the one with the advantage.”
Having defeated one of Mendes’ main training partners, Urijah Faber, already in a WEC title defense, Aldo is confident that he’ll be able to cut Mendes off at every path en route to claiming another dominant victory.
“Chad’s style of fighting is very similar to Urijah Faber’s. The height, the wrestling, the way they move… they are very similar,” Aldo assessed. “Mendes is younger than Faber, but it’s basically the same type of fight for me.
“Mendes has got a disadvantage fighting me on his feet. He’s not as good a boxer as the other guys I have faced and I don’t think he can do well standing up in this fight. I will be looking for a knockout or a submission. I will defeat Chad Mendes.”
Mendes and Aldo will meet in the main event of UFC 142 this Saturday night at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.