Chad Mendes: UFC 179 Is About Payback For Me, McGregor Next

Chad Mendes
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Chad Mendes will look to avenge his KO loss to Jose Aldo, as he gets another crack at the belt at UFC 179…

UFC featherweight contender Chad Mendes will once again battle Jose Aldo in Brazil, this time he will be taking on the champion at UFC 179, and hoping to avenge his UFC 142 loss. Since that night in Rio, “Money” has racked up a five fight win streak, with four coming by way of T/KO. His last win was a unanimous decision over “Carny” Nik Lentz at UFC on FOX 9.

Speaking with The MMA Hour today, Mendes said he heard that Jose Aldo’s kidney stones meant the UFC 179 title fight was off:

“I thought the fight was off, and my heart just dropped. Then they said he was fine, so we are all good to go. I feel really good, I’m in his head, and it’s right where I wanna be. He shoved me, and that’s just funny to me; to see him get frustrated and annoyed. I think he lost his temper, and that’s never happened before.”

“Money” is referring to the less than infamous media day shove that went down a few days after the UFC 178 DC vs Jones brawl. Aldo tried to say that it was a publicity stunt, but Mendes clearly thinks it’s a reward after months of trolling the featherweight champion. “Mendes” continued:

“I’m not afraid of him, this is my time to reign. I know I can beat Aldo. Either he is feeling threatened or I’m in his head, getting to him. Everyone wants to see a rivalry, it’s more entertaining when there is bad blood. A lot of people asked if it was just to sell the fight, but it’s not. He talked all kinds of shit about me, and he’s never done that before. For me it’s redemption, it’s about payback. I feel like I was winning the first fight before I got caught with the knee.”

Whether or not Aldo was winning or not, the result was a first round KO for the champion. The controversial cage grab “Junior” pulled off before the finish was also quite a talking point after UFC 142, but perhaps that will act as a fuel for Mendes’ performance at UFC 179. He then was asked the question about the Nova Uniao-Alpha Male beef that materialized after UFC 173, and continued after Renan Barao dropped out of UFC 177.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I feel like their down is our up. TJ did it against Renan Barao, and I think we cracked the code, now it’s my turn to go out and prove I’m the best in the world. I feel like he has found his comfort zone, he uses skills he is good at. He knows he can win a fight with jabs or leg kicks. Maybe he has lost the will to go out there and finish his opponent. Some people say having children and getting married changes a man.” 

“Conor McGregor is a great fighter, but I think he needs another fight with maybe a wrestler like Clay Guida and Nik Lentz. I think either one of those guys would beat Conor. If I beat Aldo, I’d rather fight against a guy like Conor next.”

We’ll find out what kind of champion Aldo is come October 25th, but maybe the fire lit under “Scarface” is actually a bad thing for the challenger. It’s interesting that Mendes would rather fight the surging Conor McGregor than have a trilogy match with the long reigning champion. The featherweight division looks to be going through a transitional phase, but who will emerge as the champion in 2015?

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