UFC 142 Fight Card Primer: Jose Aldo Vs. Chad Mendes

Image via UFC

It doesn't get much bigger than this. The dominant champ gets to defend his belt in his home country. The challenger is a protege of a guy that has fought the champ before, but this new challenger has a better wrestling pedigree. Is that the champ's achilles heel? Or will the champ blow through this guy just like he's put away his last four challengers? Jose Aldo (20-1, 2-0 UFC) meets Chad Mendes (11-0, 2-0 UFC).

This one's pretty simple rankings-wise. Aldo is obviously the number one featherweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, and the challenger Mendes is number two. If Mendes wins, they flip flop. If Aldo wins, Mendes will sit at two for a while until the next challenger is artificially inflated. This featherweight UFC 142 fight will be the main event of the night, and will be aired live on pay-per-view. The PPV broadcast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

How do these two stack up?

Aldo: 25 years old | 5'7" | 70" reach
Mendes: 26 years old | 5'6 | 66" reach

What have these two done recently?

Aldo: W - Kenny Florian (UD) | W - Mark Hominick (UD) | W - Manny Gamburyan (KO)
Mendes: W - Rani Yahya (UD) | W - Michihiro Omigawa (UD) | W - Javier Vasquez (UD)

How did these two get here?

Jose "Scarface" Aldo is a seven-year vet with a ton of wins and just one loss (over 6 years ago). He's currently on a 13-fight win streak, most of which came under the Zuffa umbrella. Five straight wins in the WEC earned him a shot at the champ Mike Brown in November 2009, where he basically decimated him and scooped his belt. Former champ Urijah Faber was the first challenger, but he went home with purple legs and another L on his record. Manny Gamburyan was the last WEC victim, getting KO'd in the second round. He was gifted a UFC featherweight belt after the merger, but struggled in his first defense against Mark Hominick at UFC 129 due to a rough weight cut. He still won though, then put away veteran Kenny Florian at UFC 136 by decision to defend the belt once again. Mendes is, by far, the best wrestler Aldo has faced, so this will be a major test for the dynamic striker.

Chad "Money" Mendes was a two-time NCAA D1 All-American in college, and made the transition to MMA shortly after school was over by hooking up with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male. After five straight wins on the California regional circuit, Chad was brought into the WEC. He dominated there as well, winning all four fights he had while wearing the blue gloves. After defeating Michihiro Omigawa in his UFC debut at UFC 126, Mendes was expected to get a title shot against Aldo at UFC 133. That went sideways, but Mendes didn't care and defeated Rani Yahya to cement his title shot. He walks into enemy territory, but is determined to bring the belt back to the United States.

Why should you care?

The UFC featherweight title is on the line, and the champ is facing the best wrestler in the division. In Brazil. There's a lot to like here.

You can catch more UFC 142 preview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes

UFC 142 Rio: Anthony Johnson Misses Weight By 12 Pounds, Will Fight With Stipulation - Josh Nason

UFC 142 Weigh-Ins - Anthony Johnson Misses Weight Badly - Josh Nason

UFC 142 RIO: Vitor Belfort Vs. Anthony Johnson Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC RIO 142: Aldo Vs. Mendes Staff Predictions - Bloody Elbow

UFC 142 RIO: Rousimar Palhares Vs. Mike Massenzio Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 142: Jose Aldo Is The New GSP, And That's Not A Good Thing - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 142: Aldo Vs. Mendes Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 142 RIO: Edson Barboza Vs. Terry Etim Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 142 RIO: Erick Silva Vs. Carlo Prater Dissection - Dallas Winston

Will Tim Tebow Hurt UFC 142's PPV Performance? - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 142 Pre-Fight Press Conference Coverage - Tim Burke

Watch Countdown To UFC 142 Rio Video On Bloody Elbow - Josh Nason

UFC 142 RIO: FX Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 142 Judo Chop: The Leg Lock Set Ups of Rousimar Palhares - T.P. Grant

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