According to an Oct. 26 report from ESPN, hard-hitting Brazilian superstar, Jose Aldo, left little doubt in anyone’s mind who is the best featherweight MMA fighter in the world, as he outlasted standout wrestler, Chad Mendes, in the main event of UFC 179. Aldo, 28, has now defended his UFC featherweight title seven times, cementing his status as one of the greatest fighters in the history of the promotion. Aldo hasn’t yet hit his 30th birthday, so the best is still to come.
He’s still inching closer to his athletic prime, and he should have plenty of gas left in the tank for the years ahead. Aldo (25-1) and Mendes went the distance, much to the delight of the thousands of fans in attendance at the Ginásio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mendes landed the first knockdown of the UFC 179 fight, but Aldo bounced back and shook off the cobwebs to continue on. The fight would end up lasting five rounds, and their 25-minute war was an instant classic. Aldo’s bout with Mendes will definitely be in the running for “Fight of the Year” when the award nominees come out later this year.
At the end of the fight, Aldo was declared the winner via unanimous decision. He did enough to impress the judges, earning scores of 49-46 across the board. The UFC 179 clash between Aldo and Mendes (16-2) featured some controversy, as the Brazilian smashed the wrestler with a right hook after time expired in the opening frame.
While Aldo did not deliver the blow on purpose, it was clear Mendes was not the same man following the strike. He was able to shake off the cobwebs and continue on, but Aldo’s post-round strike was a true game-changer. Unfortunately, Aldo did not get penalized or have a point deducted for delivering the strike. Could this set up a trilogy fight between Aldo and Mendes? At this point, it appears their rivalry is over.
No one knows what will happen in the future, but chances are Mendes and Aldo will both move on to feud with other contenders. Aldo is likely to fight Conor McGregor in a soccer stadium in Ireland, while Mendes could take on Dustin Poirier or any number of fast-rising contenders. Elsewhere on the UFC 179 bill, Phil Davis hopped back into title contention with a decisive victory over Glover Teixeira.
Davis left little doubt who the better fighter is, as he landed takedown after takedown on the over-matched striker. With the victory at UFC 179, Davis advances to fight the winner of Jon Jones versus Daniel Cormier. While the UFC has not made that fight official, there’s a good chance he’ll either earn a title shot or a fight against a top contender.