Chad Mendes Talks About Jose Aldo and UFC 133 Fight With Rani Yahya

via cdn3.sbnation.com

Some feel that Chad Mendes got a raw deal when the UFC opted to give Kenny Florian a shot at Jose Aldo and his UFC featherweight title over Mendes. Dana White had mentioned that he thought Mendes would be next for Aldo at UFC 133 originally, but Aldo couldn't make that date. After Florian defeated Diego Nunes at UFC 131, he was given a title shot over Mendes. Did it bother Chad? He spoke to UFC.com about it, and apparently isn't that worried about it:

"The whole Aldo thing was never official," he said. "I never had a contract in front of me to sign. It was something we were hoping for but I knew that anything could happen; it just didn’t happen for me. Basically I didn’t want to wait the nine months to possibly fight him because I knew with Florian fighting in the meantime, that there was a good chance that if he performed well, (UFC President) Dana (White) would give him the fight. That was probably the biggest rollercoaster, but once we got the contract in front of me with Yahya, that’s what I decided to do, and it was back in work mode and back in the gym training and not even thinking about Aldo’s style anymore. It was all Yahya."

He also reiterated a point that he made in the wake of UFC 129 - that Aldo's cardio on the ground isn't as good as his "standup cardio":

"With Aldo, that was a great fight for me to see," he continues. "It just proves my whole point about the difference between grappling and standup cardio. You could see that he was forcing shots and trying to take it to the ground, and it wore him out. That’s my bread and butter and what I’d try to do if I ever fought him. With Florian, that was his first fight at ’45, so we didn’t know what to expect, and I thought he looked pretty good. He came out and looked a little sluggish in the first round, and that could have just been from the weight cut, but he’s got the mind of a champion, so he came back and found a way to win."

He also talks about his preparation for submission ace Yahya:

"For this camp we have been doing a lot of wrestling and the reason why is because honestly I’d like to keep this fight standing as much as possible," he said. "But there’s two different type of cardio – there’s standup cardio and there’s grappling, squeezing, and wrestling cardio, and they’re completely different. So I’m preparing for his best place, and if I feel great in that area, I’m gonna be very confident with my standup. So we’re doing a lot of wrestling and a lot of grappling for this camp, I’m feeling great, and it’s been one of the best camps I’ve had so far. I want to be prepared for the worst, so that way I can have my best performance. I’m not looking past Yahya at all. I’m training hard and I gotta get in there and win this fight."

If Mendes does get by Yahya, it's pretty clear that he should face the winner of the Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian title fight at UFC 136 on October 8th. But stranger things have happened before.

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