UFC Featherweight Chad Mendes was the last man to face class champion Jose Aldo, and while that fight did not go exactly how Mendes had planned, it has given a wealth of valuable MMA title fight experience. The KO loss to Aldo remains the only blemish on Mendes’ 11-1 record, and he seeks to rebound strongly at this Saturday’s UFC 148 in Las Vegas. Facing Cody McKenzie in preliminary card action, many believe Mendes will find himself in another Featherweight title fight one day. Speaking to Fightline.com, Mendes had the following comments about his loss to Aldo:
“It was tough and losing sucks, but I’ve only lost twice in the past five years between MMA and college wrestling. It sucks, it’s something I hate, but I am training hard and pushing myself every day to my limit just because I know that I can be the best and I want to win. When you’re in a fight and get caught like that it bums you out. I trained so hard for that fight and I was ready to go five rounds and make it a war.”
Mendes may have felt the pain of his highlight-reel loss earlier this year, but it would appear that he will not let this affect his bright future. He remains focused on training for his next battle. Still, the Aldo fight haunts the promising fighter to this day. The former collegiate wrestling standout knows what he has learned from his harrowing experience in Brazil that left his opponent celebrating emphatically with the crowd. Mendes continued on:
“If anything I think it will help me out in the long run with my confidence. Jose Aldo is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and honestly I felt like I was handling him in that first round and holding my own. I learn from my mistakes and if we fight again I won’t make the same mistakes. A second fight would be totally different. I went back and watched it and saw what I did wrong; now it’s time to move forward. Losing is part of the sport and everyone goes through it, but it still sucks. I felt like I proved I’m one of the best if not the best fighters in the 145lb. division. The whole trip is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I only saw some of his leap into the crowd while I was in the cage and saw the whole thing later on, it wasn’t easy to watch.”
While he must first get by Cody McKenzie this Saturday, Chad Mendes has only one main goal in mind: the UFC Featherweight championship. There is not a long list of worthy challengers for Aldo’s belt, but the champion is also currently out nursing a knee injury. Originally scheduled to face Erik Koch as the headlining bout of UFC 149 in Canada, a replacement fight has not since been announced. Either way, Chad Mendes is a promising fighter with a steel resolve to avenge the only loss of his career.
A video of Chad Mendes‘ outdoor training in Lake Tahoe, courtesy of UFC.com: