UFC: Rio Aldo vs. Mendes is a Betting Carnivale
UFC Rio - Aldo vs. Mendes Preview

It’s an MMA betting Battle Royale in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 14 as two of the best young fighters on the planet will step into the cage to throw down in a major championship war in the featherweight division.

Will Junior keep Money from taking away his title?  Keep reading for an analysis of this major BetUS Mixed Martial Arts Betting title fight

UFC Rio:  Aldo vs Mendes

When:  Jan. 14, 2012 7pm/10pm

Where:  HSBC Arena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Betting Line 

Chad Mendes              +190
Jose Aldo                    -240

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo is the top-ranked featherweight MMA fighter in the world.  There’s a reason for that.  The man has lost only one fight in a 21 fight career, back in 2005 at the hands of Luciano Avezedo.  Never heard of Avezedo?  Exactly, which is why most fight fans consider the loss a fluke.  Since the Avezedo loss, Aldo has won 13 straight.  His victories include beating highly regarded opponents Urijah Faber, Manvel Gamburyan, Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian.

Aldo is reported as having a very strong ground game, but he uses his striking ability 73% of the time in his fights.  The reason for him to do this is simple; Aldo is as fast as any fighter in MMA and he’s equally fast striking with his hands and his legs.  He can produce an amazing leg sweep that many times gets his opponent to the ground where he follows up with a vicious ground and pound.

It took Aldo only two punches to knockout Cub Swanson in 2009, proving that he indeed does have power, but Aldo has no trouble taking his time and winning by decision.  He beat Urijah Faber via decision by outpointing the incredibly popular surfer fighting dude 77 to 20 in strikes.  He beat Mark Hominick via decision by outpointing his worthy opponent 94 to 71 on strikes and 5 to 1 on takedowns.  He beat Kenny Florian via a 51 to 40 strike advantage.

Aldo’s amazing speed equates to an incredible defense.  The UFC Featherweight Champion avoids 72% of the strikes attempted against him and an incredible 94% of takedown attempts against him.     

Chad Mendes

You don’t get to 11 and 0 in MMA unless you have talent.  The days of becoming a champion off of only a couple of fights (Brock Lesnar, anyone?) are gone.  Mendes is one of the best wrestlers in the world.  He backs up his incredible wrestling skills with incredible patience and discipline.  Since Mendes has won his last 6 fights via decision, the discipline is evident.

Mendes strikes only 22% of the time.  He usually strikes only in order to set up his incredible takedown ability.  73% of his skill breakdown involves takedowns.  He doesn’t often submit his opponents since Mendes isn’t a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grappler.  Instead, he piles up points via takedowns, keeps his opponent on the ground, and uses his wrestling ability to dominate fights.  When it comes to defense, Mendes is exceptionally gifted.  He prevents 74% of the strikes attempted against him and his takedown defense is simply marvelous.  Mendes’s takedown defense is 100% meaning that he has avoided every takedown attempt against him.

Overall Analysis

Chad Mendes might possibly be the most skilled fighter that Jose Aldo has ever met, but there’s a question as to whether or not Mendes’s wrestling skill will set him up for the upset in this battle.  This fight is going to hinge on two things:  first, will Mendes be able to handle Aldo’s amazing speed?  Second, will Mendes get Aldo to the ground?

In regards to the first question, Mendes will be facing the fastest man he has ever faced in MMA.  Mendes only prevents 74% of strikes against him.  Rest assured that Aldo will lower that 74% to 64% or possibly even 54% in this fight.  Mendes has an excellent chin, but his entire fight plan rests on the answer to the second question and I’m not so sure the answer to that is in Mendes’s favor. Aldo’s takedown defense is exceptional.  Preventing 94% of takedowns is as good as it gets considering the fighters that Aldo has faced.  As good as Mendes is, he’s going to have to work exceptionally well in order to get Aldo to the mat.

Will it happen?  As much respect as I have for Mendes, the answer is no.  I just don’t see how Mendes will be able to get Aldo to ground considering that he has to go full force into Aldo’s chest to do it.  If Mendes tries to take Aldo down by going to the side, Aldo will simply sidestep and land a barrage of punches or force Mendes into a headlock.  Either way, Mendes will have his work cut out for him.

To be sure, Aldo is taking no chances.  He’s been working on his ground game with Gray Maynard, an exceptional wrestler.  If Aldo needs to employ his newly found wrestling skills, then that’s what he will do.  I don’t believe Aldo will.  To me, the 74% strike prevention rate for Mendes and the 94% takedown prevention rate for Aldo are the keys.  Aldo is just too fast for Mendes to handle.  Aldo should be able to pop in, land a flurry of punches, and then pop out before Mendes is able to get him to the ground.

Because of that, I simply can’t back Mendes in this fight.  The odds are nice and Mendes is an exceptional wrestler, but Aldo is the best featherweight, possibly the best fighter, in Mixed Martial Arts.  Mendes has a shot but it’s not much of one.  I’m backing Jose Aldo to win on Jan. 14. 

Pick:  Jose Aldo -240