UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo was pushed to the brink against Chad Mendes over the weekend at UFC 179, but the Brazilian still came out on top.

It was a stark contrast to the first meeting, which saw Aldo land a devastating knee to the face of Mendes that knocked him out with just a second left in the opening round.

Aldo showed his true warrior spirit in battling back from a beating by Mendes that left him with damage to his face and eyes, along with the rest of his body. But, despite all that, “Scarface” still would like to mix it up with “Money” a third time.

“He’s a great athlete,” Aldo told MMAjunkie.com afterwards. “He’s always going to be fighting in this weight class, right on top. It’s not (like) because he lost, he’s no good anymore. He’s very good. He’s got great potential and in the future, we could meet again. And I hope that we have another great fight.”

Aldo (25-1) is likely to meet either Cub Swanson, Frankie Edgar or Conor McGregor next, but he sees a trilogy with Mendes (16-2) being a possible crowning achievement in his career.

“I saw Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard fight three times,” Aldo said. “They were great fights. In this fight, of course, I’m still the champion. But Chad Mendes was also victorious in this fight, and the third fight, we’re going to win again together.”

Mendes took the long path back to his rematch, winning five fights since the loss to Aldo the first time around. That included four finishes, highlighted by becoming the first man to stop Clay Guida inside the cage.