Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes, UFC 142, 14 January 2012

Jose Aldo vs Chad MendesJose Aldo vs Chad Mendes is a fight that shows the passion that exists in the sport of MMA. Passion from the fighters and passion from the fans.  Fighters train tirelessly day after day, week after week, month after month. Preparing themselves for their next fight Рthe fight of their lives.

(Scroll down to watch the full fight)

When Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes was announced, I wasn’t excited for the fight at all. Jose Aldo was the WEC Featherweight Champion and automatically became the UFC Featherweight Champion during the merging of the two promotions. In becoming the WEC Featherweight Champion, he defeated Cub Swanson via a fantastic flying knee in the first 7 seconds of the fight. He then defeated Mike Brown via TKO punches in the second round to become the Featherweight Champion. This is the Mike Brown that defeated Urijah Faber to become the champion. The Urijah Faber that was considered invincible and one of the most dominant lighter-weight fighters of the first decade of the 2000s.

Upon becoming champion, Jose Aldo then went ahead and dominated the division with a one-sided decision win against Urijah Faber, a KO win against Manny Gamburyan, and a tough but rewarding fight against Mark Hominick. Then the legendary lightweight Kenny Florian dropped to Featherweight to challenge Jose Aldo for the belt.

By the time it got to Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo had already, in my opinion, cleaned out the division and there was no one left to fight him. The UFC put Chad Mendes in the cage because they simply didn’t have anybody else. I was not excited for this fight at all, I thought it was going to be a sure win for Aldo and an early night for fight fans.

Chad Mendes trains out of Team Alpha Male. A dominant team that has made a name for itself in the lighter weight divisions in the WEC and UFC. Like many of the Team Alpha Male fighters, Chad Mendes has a strong wrestling background achieving All-American status twice in his wrestling career. Chad Mendes also had the benefit of Urijah Faber being in his corner. Hopefully having Urijah Faber’s knowledge and experience of fighting Jose Aldo would help.

It did not.

The first round of Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes consisted of Jose Aldo trying to take out Chad Mendes’s legs with his dangerous soccer strength leg kicks. Chad Mendes realizing Jose’s game plan, tried to continuously but unsuccessfully take Jose down.

Finally Chad Mendes had Jose from behind against the fence and was setting up position to take Jose down to the mat. When an opportunity appeared, Jose freed himself of Chad’s wrestling grip. When Chad lunged forward to reclaim the position, Jose immediately turned and knocked Chad out with a lighting fast knee.

This knee was either the most lucky knee, the most instinctive knee, or the most strategically brilliant knee I have ever seen. Either way, it is a reflection of Jose Aldo’s devotion, passion, and understanding of fighting. The understanding of motion, of movement, of weight, of where your opponent is going to be, of what your opponent is thinking. Taking all that into consideration and internalizing it to the point where your reactions are faster than the speed of thought.

And when that knee landed, the crowd went absolutely berserk. The love and respect they have for their favourite fighter. The love and respect they have for their champion.

Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes is a reflection of the heart and the passion that exists in MMA.

Be sure to watch the full fight right here.

Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes full fight video