Jose Aldo is not moving up to lightweight. At least, not yet.
That's probably the best news Chad Mendes has gotten all week, as the undefeated featherweight patiently waits for his crack at the 145-pound crown.
Not that it did him any good. After five rounds of action at the "Edgar vs. Maynard 3" pay-per-view event on Oct. 8, 2011, "KenFlo" was once again sent to the back of the line.
Mendes, meanwhile, racked up another unanimous decision win (his fourth straight) by outlasting Rani Yahya at UFC 133 back on Aug. 6. And as he tells MMA Fighting, the belt is going to be his "sooner or later."
"My time is going to come. I've only been doing this for three years. I've got 11 fights into my career. I've got plenty of time. That belt's going to be mine sooner or later. It's just hurry up and wait ... I think with my wrestling credentials, my strength, my athleticism, I don't think he's faced anybody like that yet. And for me to get in there, put him on his back and take him out of his comfort zone, I think that's going to be key to beating a guy like that. He's the guy that everyone looks at as unbeatable, and he's got this hype around him like no one can beat him. I want to be the guy to get in there and take that belt from him."
The idea of Mendes being able to defeat Aldo, perhaps a year ago, seemed unlikely.
But after back-to-back fights inside the Octagon, "Junior" looks content to ride out the clock and let the scorecards do the talking -- a far cry from the deadly finishes fans saw while he competed in the WEC.
Is Aldo playing it safe? Or just fighting better competition? And does anyone think he'll have trouble fighting Mendes off his back?
How do you see this potential title fight playing out?