Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes:

Mike Drahota:

This is an interesting fight that will kick off a couple months that will (hopefully) be jam-packed with awaited UFC title fights. Mendes has looked like a killer as of late, but it hasn’t been against anyone who could be considered an elite opponent. However’ he’s clearly motivated beyond belief for his rematch with Aldo, and that’s not something I can necessarily say is true about the champion.

Aldo has mostly focused on how much money he makes lately, and he’s even admitted to coasting in title fights in order to keep the belt. With only two finishes in six UFC title defenses (and one was an injury stoppage), the champion clearly isn’t the marauding killer we saw in the WEC. He’s the last Brazilian champion, and I think he’ll be the final one to fall on Saturday night. Mendes via round three TKO.

Rory Kernaghan:

The hype around Aldo vs. Mendes 2 has been mainly targeted at who has evolved more. You could argue that Mendes’ striking game has improved leaps and bounds, but you also have to consider whom each man has fought since UFC 142. The champion has taken on Frankie Edgar, Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung Jung, and Mendes has beaten Nik Lentz, Clay Guida, Cody McKenzie, Darren Elkins and Yaotzin Meza. The difference in competition is obvious; “Money” hasn’t fought a pure striker since Aldo, or even a top 5 featherweight. In my opinion, the fire lit under Aldo is a bad thing for Mendes, and the champion will remain so with a first round knockout.

Mike Henken:

There is no doubt that Chad Mendes is a completely different fighter from the first time he squared off with the champion. His striking has improved immensely; improving from a primarily wrestling based attack to having a well-rounded skill set. Mendes has finished four out of his five fights since he first fought Jose Aldo and looks more aggressive and physical than ever. However, I don’t see him taking this one. I do believe that it will be a much closer fight than the first time, but I think Aldo is too hungry to prove he is a true champion. He will use his deathly leg kicks, and strong takedown defense to keep the fight on the feet where I feel he ultimately has the edge. If the fight does go to the ground, I don’t think it will be a problem for Aldo who has an under rated ground game. I don’t see the champion losing his belt in front of his home country, Jose Aldo by unanimous decision.

Ivy:

I see this match-up being a potential barnburner with Aldo’s patented low inside leg kicks vs. Mendes’ takedowns and angle cutting inside.  They both have knockout power, Aldo more with the legs and Mendes with the punches. Mendes has said that Aldo has gotten stale and I believe there is some truth in that.  I see Mendes feinting in on the angles and landing some vicious uppercuts to stun Aldo and take him out of his game.  From there on I think Mendes scores a few huge takedowns, which will end with Aldo standing up and getting caught with a crushing right hand. Mendes by KO in round two.

Glover Teixeira vs. Phil Davis:

Mike Drahota:

Despite the high rankings of both fighters here, this isn’t a terribly exciting co-main event to me. Both fighters were picked apart by their opponents in their last bouts, meaning that they’ll most likely never ascend to championship level. Teixeira has ultra heavy hands and a dangerous ground game, while “Mr. Wonderful” obviously brings his NCAA champion wrestling pedigree.

The Brazilian will most likely be looking to slug it out with Davis in front of his home fans, as it’s going to be extremely tough to submit Davis or even control him on the mat. Davis will be looking for a multitude of takedowns, and if he can secure one each round, he could be able to smother Teixeira en route to a boring decision win. But that simply won’t gain him any new fans, so Davis has to pull off something special to make a statement.

I doubt that happens, but “Mr. Wonderful” is just too hard to finish. That’s why I’m picking Teixeira by decision.

Rory Kernaghan:

Both Glover Teixeira and Phil Davis will look to overcome their respective losses against Jon jones and Anthony Johnson at UFC 172, in a fight that I feel is stacked in the Brazilian’s favor. Teixeira is as physically imposing as “Rumble”, and I’d imagine the result will be rather similar to Davis vs. Johnson. Look for GT to go headhunting, and to keep the pressure on the wrestler all night. Unanimous decision for Teixeira, all day.

Mike Henken:

This fight pits two top light heavyweights looking to get back to their winning ways against each other, so I think both Glover Teixeira and Phil Davis will be hungry and motivated to get a win. It is no secret that Davis’ strongest area is his wrestling, coming from a decorated collegiate wrestling background. The former NCAA All-American also has a very strong ground game, but as shown in his latest fight his striking may not be up to par. That could be a problem for Davis, as Teixeira is a polished striker who hits like a truck. The Brazilian also has a solid ground game of his own. I think if Teixeira can keep the fight standing as much as possible and be completely aware of the submission if it ends up on the ground he will get the win. Glover by second round knockout.

Ivy:

This is an interesting play on strengths, with Teixeira being great on the feet and Davis being so fluid on the ground.  I see Teixeira finding his distance and landing some great shots to rock Davis, but Davis eventually landing the takedown and maintaining top control in round 1.  Round 2 sees Teixeira defending the takedown and keeping them both standing making it a Teixeira round. Round 3 I see as being mostly on the feet with Davis scoring a double leg takedown followed up with a d’arce choke for the submission.

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