When UFC featherweight Chad Mendes meets divisional champion Jose Aldo next month at UFC 142 the two will combine for an overall record of 31-1. However, though Aldo has twice as many fights as Mendes and has beaten some of the sport’s top names, the 11-0 grappler out of Team Alpha Male still feels confident his aggression and overall abilities will put Aldo on the run rather than allowing him to pick his own positions.

“If I wanna take him to the ground, I’m gonna be able to take him to the ground,” said Mendes in an interview with TATAME. “I need to slow him down…He’s fast, he’s explosive, (and) where he’s most dangerous is on the feet. My strength is my wrestling, it’s what I’ve been doing since I’m five years-old, my entire life, and that’s what I hope that’ll take this fight.”

However, as confident as he is in the prospect of putting Aldo on his backside, Mendes isn’t completely sure how the fight will unfold.

“I can’t say where this fight’s gonna go. I can tell you this: it’s gonna be very fast, energetic, high paced fight. Jose is very quick and athletic and so am I. I’m very strong, athletic and I can see some things happening. It’s gonna be very exciting for the fans.”

The 26-year old Mendes also plans to stay in the dynamic Brazilian’s face throughout, revealing one component of his strategy in explaining, “I’m definitively gonna be aggressive, I think that’s one thing I’m good at: dictating where it goes, where the fight goes. You know, that’s what I’m gonna do in this fight and I’m gonna try to wear Jose down, to slow him down because he’s very explosive, very fast. I think my game plan is going to be to slow it down. We’re gonna make him less dangerous than he is and get that belt.”

UFC 142 will emanate live from Rio de Janeiro on January 14 with a match-up also pitting Vitor Belfort against Anthony Johnson.


MMATraining Take: I respect Mendes’ gusto, and I don’t doubt he’ll score some takedowns based on Aldo’s previous fights, but to think he’s going to outclass the champion so completely that he’ll pick/choose his spots is absurd.