Despite having already been knocked out by the champ, Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes is ranked as the no. 1 featherweight contender and still considered one of the only legitimate threats left to the Brazilian's title.
Mendes was beat by Aldo over two years ago, at UFC 142. "Money" was knocked out by the champ with just one second remaining in the first round, the fight was fairly even until that point. The Team Alpha male standout was an analyst this weekend on Fox Sports for UFC 169, during the event Mendes told how he believes he is the only man who can be Aldo.
“I truly believe that I’m the guy who can beat Jose Aldo and I really want that shot. I’ve grown so much since the last time we fought. I’ve completely changed my game and I’m excited to face him.”
Mendes certainly has changed his style since the two last fought and his record since proves it. In "Money's" last five fights, he's pick up five dominant wins which included four straight knockouts.
However, it looks as if Aldo is planning on moving up in weight classes to challenge Anthony Pettis for his lightweight title. While Mendes would love to see that fight as a fan, he also thinks he should be fighting for the featherweight belt next.
“I’m buddies with Pettis, and as a fan, I’d love to see that fight,” he said. “But I’m the true No. 1 contender. I should be fighting for the belt next.”
Given his current record and ranking, it would be hard to argue against Mendes deserving the next shot at the featherweight title. If Aldo does indeed move up to fight Pettis, "Money" has an idea for the UFC to keep the division flowing.
“Maybe me and Cub Swanson can fight for the title (if Aldo vacates the belt),” he said. “I don’t think Aldo should take the belt with him and put the whole division on hold.”
Swanson and Mendes previously fought at WEC 50, where "Money" won a unanimous decision. Since then Swanson has been on a roll of his own, winning six of his last seven.
If Aldo does vacate his belt to fight Pettis, would you be interested in seeing Mendes and Swanson fight for the featherweight title?