UFC 179: Aldo vs. Mendes II Date: October 25, 2014 Location: Ginásio do Maracanãzinho Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Broadcast: PPV UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo (-190) The best featherweight MMA fighter the world has ever seen, UFC champion Jose Aldo (24-1) has no peer. His ferocious leg kicks, fantastic takedown defense and overall MMA skills translate into someone who was last defeated seven years ago and someone who has now matured into one of the most feared fighters on the planet. You could say Aldo has cleared out his entire division, sending Urijah Faber down to 135 pounds, retiring Kenny Florian, destroying Cub Swanson, and changing Mike Brown’s career forever. As well, the 28-year-old Brazilian has also defeated the the likes of former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar, Mark Hominick, Manny Gamburyan and Chan Sung Jung, and most recently was seen defeating Ricardo Lamas via decision at UFC 169. At this point, the only fresh matchup for Aldo is Conor McGregor, but before the McGregor fight comes around, the UFC is giving Aldo a rematch with a man he has already beat once, Chad Mendes. Aldo knocked Mendes out in brutal fashion at UFC 142, but that was before Mendes could truly strike, and with “Money’s” newfound striking skills, Aldo has a new challenge on his hands and this should be a great fight. UFC Featherweight Contender Chad Mendes (+150) One of the top featherweight fighters in the UFC, Chad Mendes (16-1) bounced back from his first career loss to UFC champion Jose Aldo at UFC 142 with a dominant first-round knockout win over Cody McKenzie at UFC 148. He didn’t stop there, however, as he took out Yaotzin Meza, Darren Elkins, Clay Guida and Nik Lentz in successive fights to earn a five-fight win streak as well as another crack at Aldo and his featherweight crown. A powerful wrestler with improving standup and knockout power, Mendes is a little sparkplug and with his increased confidence in the striking department, he makes for a very interesting matchup against Aldo this second time around. Mendes will likely try to use his improvements in the striking department to suck Aldo into his range, and then go for a takedown and beat Aldo up on the mat. But then again, maybe he’ll try to stand with Aldo in order to knock him out. Either way, Mendes is a great fighter and with his evolution, expect him to put on a much better performance than the first time he fought Aldo nearly three years ago. Opening UFC 179 Main Event Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Aldo a -190 favorite (bet $190 to win $100) while Mendes opened as a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150) at Several Bookmakers. This is a rematch of the pair’s first bout at UFC 142, a fight Aldo won at the last second of the first round by knockout. Since his win over Mendes in January 2012, Aldo has picked up wins over Frankie Edgar, Chan Sung Jung and Ricardo Lamas to confirm his spot as the top featherweight fighter in the sport. Mendes, however, didn’t let the loss to Aldo deter him from reaching his goal of becoming UFC champ — instead, it motivated him. Since the loss to Aldo, Mendes has reeled off five-straight wins over Nik Lentz, Clay Guida, Darren Elkins, Yaotzin Meza and Cody McKenzie, with four of those wins coming by way of knockout. While he was just a wrestler the first time he fought Aldo, he’s not a fully-fledged mixed martial artist with an impressive striking game, and it makes the rematch very intriguing. Since Aldo won the first fight in such dominant fashion and since he’s won so many fights in a row, the Brazilian opens as the favorite here, but Mendes is a trendy underdog pick and is definitely capable of pulling off the upset in what should be an absolutely exceptional fight between two of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.