When Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo meet this weekend at UFC 142 in headlining action it will mark a bout between two guys in their mid-twenties who have a combined record of 31-1. As such, Mendes is fairly certain Saturday night won’t be the last time he sees the featherweight champion inside the Octagon although, if the undefeated wrestler has his way, it will certainly be under different circumstances in that he’ll be holding the belt.
“If I do go out there and beat him, I think we’re both top level guys, so we’re probably gonna end up fighting each other more than once. It’s something that’s part of the sport and something we’ve got to do, but I’ve definitely been watching intently and I’m super pumped and ready for this fight,” said Mendes in an interview with the UFC’s website. “Honestly, this is the best cardio and conditioning shape I’ve ever been in, and I can almost even say throughout my wrestling career, so I feel great, I’m very confident coming into this fight and I’m ready to get in there and showcase it.”
While many people may not be giving Mendes much credit based on his seemingly one-dimension style of attack, the Team Alpha Male athlete reassure critics that he is evolving as should be expected when a guy comes from such a storied background in one discipline.
“You have to realize that there are going to be peaks and valleys, so you need to step back, look at what you’ve been doing wrong and just fix it,” Mendes explained. “Especially in the beginning, all I had was my wrestling, and I was going in there against guys that in wrestling I would demolish, but they’re submitting me in every single thing possible because I just didn’t know what I was doing. And it was really frustrating, and I started second-guessing a little bit, but then I stepped back, figured out what I was doing wrong, and like any other sport, you just practice it and get good at it.”
“Nowadays, you’ve got to be good at everything,” he continued. “I know my wrestling is my strength and it’s what I’ve been doing since I was five, but a lot of the time you’ve got to train other things and you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. Wrestling for me is my comfort zone, so a lot of times if I’m getting hit in the standup, I automatically take the guy down, where sometimes you’ve got to force yourself not to. But wrestling is my strength and my body has grown and adapted to that because it’s something I’ve done my entire life, so it’s always gonna be my strength and always something I’m gonna go to. But I think in this day and age you’ve got to be well-rounded.”
Fans can catch Mendes’ attempt at taking the 20-1 Aldo’s belt when things unfold on PPV at 10:00 PM EST.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC