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UFC 179 fight card primer: Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC 179: Aldo vs. Mendes 2 in our fight card primer series. Here we look at the main event: Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes for the UFC Featherweight title.

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In the main event at UFC 179: Aldo vs. Mendes 2, UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo (24-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) puts his title on the line against Chad Mendes (16-1 MMA; 7-1 UFC). This five round Featherweight title fight is the main event on the five fight UFC 179 main card. The UFC Rankings have Mendes as the #1 contender at 145 pounds, with champion Aldo at #2 on the Pound for Pound list. UFC 179: Aldo vs. Mendes 2 airs live from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this Saturday, October 25. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at  8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and 7:00 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

Rematch time! Aldo vs. Mendes 2 is a weird kind of rematch, as it doesn't come from a controversial or even close first fight. Last time out, in 2012, Aldo kneed Mendes into oblivion in one round. Both are undefeated since, and with Aldo coming close to cleaning out the division, Mendes gets a second crack at the champ. And once again he has to do it in front of a hostile Brazilian crowd. Mendes's Alpha Male teammate T.J. Dillashaw upset Aldo's Nova Uniao teammate Renan Barao earlier this year - can Mendes keep the streak alive?

How do these two stack up?

Aldo: 28 years old | 5'7" | 70" reach
Mendes: 29 years old | 5'5" | 66" reach

What have these two done recently?

Aldo: W - Ricardo Lamas (UD) | W - Chan Sung Jung (TKO) | W - Frankie Edgar (UD)
Mendes: W - Nik Lentz (UD) | W - Clay Guida (TKO) | W - Darren Elkins (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Though he may trail Jon Jones in the UFC Pound for Pound rankings, Jose Aldo is arguably the most dominant champion in the UFC today. Since being named the inaugural UFC Featherweight champion in 2011, he's defended the belt 6 times. Add in his WEC defenses (which, realistically, should count) and Aldo is looking to make his 9th defense tonight - a feat that would tie him with GSP for #2 on the all time defense list and just 1 spot below Anderson Silva. Despite that dominance, there have been some questions about Aldo, particularly his ability to maintain the pace in late rounds. There's a real feeling that he is vulnerable tonight, and that hasn't happened in a Jose Aldo fight in a long time.

Chad Mendes has been perfect throughout his career except for the lone loss to Aldo. Like all Team Alpha Male fighters, Mendes is a very good grinding wrestler with cardio and guts for days and improved stand-up in recent years thanks to the camp's time under Bang Ludwig. He's 5-0 since the Aldo loss, with only Nik Lentz managing to even go the distance. That new aggressive streak may serve him well here. Team Alpha Male has long been seen as unable to be beaten in any non-title fight, unable to win in any title fight. Dillashaw flipped that script against Barao, and we'll see here if that signifies an overall turn for the team.

Why should you care?

One of the best in the world is fighting, in front of his home crowd, and he might lose. Sounds good to me.