We’re just hours away from UFC 179 – a pay-per-view set in Brazil, featuring Brazilians, and pretty much tailor-made for the benefit of the Brazil crowd. Featherweight champ Jose Aldo gets the honor of headlining the event, with his opponent someone he’s already beaten convincingly in Team Alpha Male rep Chad Mendes. (If you’ll recall, Aldo put Mendes to sleep with a knee to the chops at UFC 142.) On paper, this matchup seems like a no-brainer, especially since the champ is undefeated in the Octagon, and hasn’t lost a bout since 2005. Aldo is going to kill Mendes once again, right?
Tonight, Aldo is going to lose. Here’s why:
- The world has turned for Aldo’s camp, Nova Uniao. They’re of course still badasses, but their dominance in the grand scheme of things is waning. UFC bantamweight star Renan Barao was dethroned by TJ Dillashaw, and recently Eduardo Dantas lost his Bellator strap to Joe Warren. Fighters have finally figured Nova Uniao out, and we’re seeing this in h0w the Brazilians are getting picked off one by one.
- Dillashaw may have beaten Barao thanks to the expert tutelage of Duane Ludwig, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Dillashaw didn’t at least chill with Mendes on the corner of the mat at Team Alpha Male’s gym and say something along the lines of, “Hey, you know how to defeat those Nova Uniao guys? All you have to do is…”
- Since defeating Mendes, Aldo has fought three times, taking Frankie Edgar and Ricardo Lamas to clear-cut decisions and TKOing the Korean Zombie in a fight that saw him in trouble at times. Sure, those are good wins, but Mendes has WRECKED five guys in that time. If anyone has improved since their last outing, it’s the American.
- Given all of his griping about money, it’s not 100% certain that Aldo even wants to be in the Octagon. That kind of mindset usually spells doom.
There you have it, four reasons why Aldo will end the night without a belt strapped around his waist. Anyone disagree?