In the aftermath of Jose Aldo’s successful title-defense against Kenny Florian at UFC 136, top featherweight contender Chad Mendes came out to say he felt the Brazilian champion was weak when it came to stopping opponents’ takedown attempts. It looks like Aldo was listening.
According to national newspaper O Dia, Aldo plans to invite 155-pound grappler Gray Maynard to train with him a Nova Uniao as he prepares to face Mendes on January 14 in the main event at UFC 142.
“Scarface” confirmed his interest to Sherdog, adding, “(Maynard) has such strong wrestling 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.”
The 20-1 Aldo appears to be doing his best to eliminate as much risk of a stumble as possible given he’s excitement about headlining a show in his native country.
“It’s gonna be great to fight here in Rio, even more being the main event,” said Aldo. “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.”
Aldo will be looking for his fourteenth consecutive victory when he faces the undefeated Mendes in Rio de Janeiro including past wins over Mike Brown, Mark Hominick, and Urijah Faber. Other bouts at UFC 142 include Mike Pyle vs. Paulo Thiago and Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Smart move by Aldo. Not only is Maynard a solid wrestler but he’s strong and has a grinding style similar to Mendes. I also think it would be a wise decision for “The Bully” to spend time in Brazil refining his stand-up, possibly working on mixing in a little Muay Thai to vary up his striking.