The city of Rio de Janeiro was buzzed with the anticipation of a unrelenting UFC pay per view featuring their only current champion Jose Aldo Jr. In a rematch from over 1000 days ago with Chad Mendes, the featherweight champion showed no respect to the deemed “improved” skill set of Money. Surely his thoughts have changed as his face after tonight's title fight is a clear indication of the advancement . In a fast paced high octane 5 round match both Mendes and Aldo went toe to toe with a possible finishing blow per each exchange. It was a spectacular fight for a main card that did not garner much appreciation from the Brazilian crowd.
When TJ Dillashaw shocked the world to defeat Renan Barao, many looked towards Chad Mendes (16-2) as the obvious follow up to produce another strap for Team Alpha Male. It was clear early on that the unique use of switch stance attacking was also a strategy Chad would try to use on Jose Aldo Jr (25-1), but the difference between the champ and Barao is he is of fleeter foot. With both warriors engaging in a ball room dance of destruction upon each other we the fan were truly treated to a wondrous match. It looked as if Aldo was able to steal the first round of the match but 2-4 were extremely close.
Rounds three and four seemed to be in Money’s favor as he found great use of an uppercut to find the chin of the champ. I was looking for that same uppercut in the fifth round but the pin point accuracy of Aldo had already taken effect. Though you would think otherwise from seeing the champs face. Chad fought a damn good fight and has no reason to hold his head low. I was shocked at the unanimous decision as I could have easily seem a judge with a favorable outcome for Mendes. Regardless this is one of the few time we have seen Aldo in trouble and this may not be the last time we see these two match up. If Connor McGregor gets past Siver then maybe he will get his chance at Money. Who knows, but the 145 division is still steady with it’s number one guy in place, Now the Brazilians can sleep knowing there is still one UFC title in the country for the time being.
Phil Davis(13-2) knew the hands of Glover Teixeira (22-4) would be the determining factor and he devised and executed a game plan to counter that. By using his own display of active footwork he was able to neutralize the hands of Glover and work his wrestling flawlessly. For some the fight was not the prettiest to look but the grappling display put on by Davis was pure artwork. Losing to Rumble may still block his path but if AJ can’t figure out his legal issues Davis could slide in as next opponent for Jon Jones if he gets past Cormier. Fabio Maldonado (22-7) pulled off an impressive comeback to finish Hans Stinger (22-6-3) in the second round. It was one of the more wilder matches as Hans controlled the entire first round and it felt as if Maldonado could not figure him out. Sure enough he prevails again in his own back yard.
In the controversial fight of the evening Darren Elkins (18-4) out worked and out pointed an under whelming Lucas Martins (15-2). Still somehow the ending result was a split decision which was weird considering Martins really did no do anything in that match. The main card kicked off with a scrappy grinder between Beneil Dariush (9-1) and Carlos Diego Ferreira(11-1). Both fighter were on the mat for most of the match and but the control went to Dariush all three rounds. Even though little action it was still plain to see Beneil would end up victorious in the match,
A special nod to Neil Magny (13-3) who won his fifth straight fight in 2014 which ties a UFC record. With so many champs being on the shelf only fighting once this year there should be some consideration for Neil as fighter of the year. No matter who the opponents (tell me you picked him in that Alex Garcia fight) that’s still five straight and to do that in a calendar year is really impressive. The prelims were a little livelier with five out of six matches containing finishes.
It was an electric night in Rio De Janeiro and was given an extra jolt with Anderson Silva arrived. Up next for the UFC Fight Night Rockhold - Bisping and for Fight Pass subscribers don’t forget next week's Invicta FC 9 Honchak - Hashi. Yours truly will be there giving you great fight coverage. Below are the full results from UFC 179 Aldo - Mendes 2. So until next time enjoy the fights fans!
Jose Aldo def. Chad Mendes via unanimous decision
Phil Davis def. Glover Teixeira via unanimous decision
Fabio Maldonado def. Hans Stringer via second-round TKO
Darren Elkins def. Lucas Martins via split decision
Beneil Dariush def. Carlos Diego Ferreira via unanimous decision
Neil Magny def. William Macario via third-round TKO
Yan Cabral def. Naoyuki Kotani via submission (rear-naked choke)
Wilson Reis def. Scott Jorgensen via submission (arm triangle)
Andre Fili def. Felipe Arantes via unanimous decision
Gilbert Burns def. Christos Giagos via submission (armbar)
Tony Martin def. Fabricio Camoes via submission (kimura)