He’s BIGGER than Brock Lensar or Georges St. Pierre, proclaims the UFC brass. He “backs up what he says” by going in and knocking people out. He’s undefeated in the UFC. He’s white, Irish, speaks EEEEENNNNGGGGGLLLLISH and talks trash! He’s Connor McGregor, the new golden boy of the UFC whom they are hitching their pay-per-view wagons to in hopes of a revival to Chael-esq like financial numbers.
Since the departure of names like Lensar, Liddell, Couture, and most notably and recently, Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen, and GSP, the UFC has had the worst pay-per-view buy-rates in many many years.
Never mind the hype that the UFC surrounded Jon Jones and Rhonda Rousey with, (neither can get it up over 500,000 buys without Anderson Silva or Rashad Evans on the card). So, we are left with the hope that the HYPE surrounding McGregor and his big talk can stir enough of a rivalry with Aldo, that it intrigues the casual fan base to BUY into the hype. There is just one problem. His name is CHAD MONEY MENDES.
Chad has lost to Aldo, fine, but before he got knocked out in Brazil many moons ago, he was holding his own if not winning a decision against Jose. Then you have to look at what led to Aldo’s win. He was grabbing the cage to avoid the take-down. That only works so many times before you have both Dana White and Chad Mendes in the ear of the ref warning him or her before the fight to watch for that and reprimand as necessary.
This will be a different fight for Jose and Chad, and for all the good intentions of allowing McGregor to become Aldo’s “Chael” and get buy-rates by popularizing the nearly undefeated champion, it wont be as easy to walk-through Mendes this time around.
Leading up the first contest in 2012, Chad Mendes was on a roll, of decisions. Leading up to the rematch, is a much more refined Mendes, with great grappling accompanied by a new and improved arsenal of striking. Since the loss to Aldo, Chad has fought FIVE times, and Chad has won FIVE times. Of those five wins, FOUR of his last FIVE wins have come via KO or TKO. That’s right, he’s shedding that “decisionator” reputation that previously beset him.
That said of Mendes, Aldo himself has only fought THREE times since his first fight with Mendes, as Aldo has had a lot of injuries sidelining him and setting him back on a regular basis. Of the three title defenses Aldo has had since 2012, only one has been by KO or TKO, the other two, by decision and he almost dropped the title to Frankie Edgar in the final stanza after gassing.
My point. Mendes is a cardio machine with the wrestling chops of a champion and the KO power of a welterweight. Aldo simply cannot look past him to McGregor, no matter how much the UFC hype train and MMA media push for him to.