This Saturday, January 14th at UFC 142, when Jose Aldo walks into the Octagon, he’ll be dealing with what could be the biggest problem that he has ever faced both statistically and stylistically. Aldo will have to deal with “money” problems, and I’m not talking about the financial kind. In more ways than one, Chad Mendes is a serious threat to the legacy Aldo has built, and I’m about to share with you exactly why.

POWER

Chad Mendes is a powerhouse of a Featherweight, he isn’t extraordinarily large or small for his weight class, but he is lean, in amazing shape and possesses the power to drop you on your head at any given moment with brute strength. I find his use of power to be similar to that of Dan Henderson, someone who tends to be a little small for his weight class, yet throws guys around and holds his own against larger, more visually muscular opponents. Chad Mendes is like a piece of iron, he’s both strong and durable, more so than Jose Aldo and more so than anyone Aldo has ever faced in his career.

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SPEED

When I mention speed I refer specifically to his shot. Mendes has what I believe to be the fastest wrestling shot in the UFC. In his fight with Anthony “Cheese Steak” Morrison (I couldn’t make that up if I tried), he showcased some super quick movement, by picking a leg faster than you can blink, and then reacting to Morrison’s takedown defense accordingly with lightning-fast reflexes and reaction times. All in all this kid is super-quick, and if you hesitate, expect to be put on your back at warp 7 when he shoots on you with the same speed that some guys throw a jab with… engage.

WRESTLING

It’s only natural I hit this one next, and really. Is this a surprise to anyone? You knew it was coming up on this list. Chad Mendes is a 2-time Division I All-American Wrestler. Jose Aldo is not. With that being said, I don’t have to explain too many differences here. It’s obvious that Aldo has some decent takedown defense, as shown against Faber, Hominick and even Florian. But Chad Mendes will be the best wrestler he has ever faced. So unless this ends via TKO in the first, expect to see Aldo on his back at some point in the fight.

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TEAM ALPHA MALE

The biggest weapon in the arsenal of Chad Mendes, is his team. Chad Mendes is surrounded by two men whom Jose Aldo couldn’t even dream of replicating in training. Joseph Benavidez and Urijah Faber are monsters, and are on the path to becoming future legends of their respective weight classes. Having those two as sparring partners, coaches, friends and measuring sticks, is priceless. Steel will sharpen steel, and inevitably Chad Mendes will improve greatly in all areas. Not to mention he also has the benefit of getting the inside scoop on Aldo from Urijah Faber’s five round title decision loss. Don’t think for one second that Urijah Faber hasn’t thought out how he would have fought Aldo differently a second time around. This is the information that will be shared with Mendes to form a concrete game plan, and become what could potentially be, the blueprint to knock the Featherweight king off of his throne.

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Honorable mentions are his guillotine choke, which I’m sure is constantly improving with the help of Urijah Faber. And more importantly his 12-0 record. On his way to tearing up the Featherweight division, he hasn’t even come close to losing once in his entire career, which will be one more piece of added pressure for Aldo, on top of defending his belt on home soil, in front of emotionally charged friends and family for the very first time. When all is said and done, It wouldn’t be a bad idea to put your “Money” on Mendes.