Having already felt the wrath of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes believes he is one "impressive" win away from re-matching the man who knocked him out at UFC 142 almost 19 months ago in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He is, after all, the # 1 ranked fighter in the division.
The impressive performance Chad seeks must come against Clay Guida as the two 145-pound contenders are set to duke it out this weekend (Aug. 31, 2013) at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which goes down from the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
"I think if I put on a great performance, this should put me right back on line for the title," said Mendes during yesterday's (Aug. 29) UFC 164 press conference. "I'm feeling better than I ever have and I expect to go out there and kill Clay and I should be right back in there."
In their initial match-up, "Junior" knocked out the wrestling powerhouse with a vicious ground-and-pound attack after a well-placed knee floored the Team Alpha Male member.
The loss was the first in Chad's mixed martial arts (MMA) career and he would love nothing more than to return the favor while handing Aldo his first loss inside the Octagon, taking his position as the best featherweight in the world.
"I would definitely love to be the one to dethrone him. He's been on a tear for such a long time it would mean a lot to me," revealed Chad, who says he doesn't envision Aldo moving up to the lightweight division to challenge for that title.
"I don't see him going up to 155 at all. He's had some issues cutting weight but I don't think it's too bad. I don't know, though. I would definitely like to be the one to beat him."
With no one in clear contention for the next shot in the 145-pound division, it isn't too far-fetched to believe "Money" could be next in line. Since his loss to Aldo, Mendes has reeled of three straight finishes and eyes his fourth in a row as he battles "The Carpenter" in "Brew City."
Also waiting in the wings for his much-desired shot at the gold is Ricardo Lamas, who is riding a four-fight winning streak. And "The Bully," for one, is tired of losing out on his chances to fight for a UFC belt.
Aldo will be on the shelf for some quite time following the injuries suffered during his war against Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 earlier in the month. In the meantime, perhaps a title eliminator fight between Mendes and Lamas is in order should Chad prove to be "Money" against Guida.