I, for one, want the rivalry to ignite between Team Alpha Male and Nova Uniao. Just to summarize, ever since T.J. Dillashaw laid a four-round beating on Renan Barao, they have been celebrating the fact that they finally got one over on a Brazilian. They liked it so much in fact, that they put down Barao’s name on a sign-up sheet to one of Team Alpha Male’s striking clinics.
The pride of Nova Uniao and reigning pound-for-pound great and Featherweight belt holder, the all-around killer, Jose Aldo did not take too kindly to that joke and promised to lay a smack down on Chad Mendes in their upcoming bout. Granted, I took some journalistic liberties with the language that I used, but that’s basically the long and short of it.
On any other fight, I would bet my house that Aldo is going to win this one. But, part of me, and that “part’” of me is a big part, thinks that Dillashaw winning the belt may have just given Mendes the shot in the arm that he needed. Ever since Mendes lost to Aldo about two years ago, Mendes has been on a tear — or, one could even say a striking tear. Mendes has been knocking everyone out who has stood in his way. While his striking has been extremely impressive, I doubt that it is on par with Aldo’s. In my opinion, Mendes is different because he is finally learning to mix his striking and wrestling with insane cardio.
We have also seen Aldo gas in the championship rounds, and if Mendes is able to mix it up and get some solid shots in, he could very well walk away with the belt. The fact of the matter is Aldo is not fighting remotely the same type of fighter that he did the last time. Aldo better look to finish this fight fast so he doesn’t have a chance to gas. If he doesn’t, it could be a long night for him.