UFC 176: Chad Mendes looks to 'take Jose Aldo's head off' in rematch, admits he 'wasn't ready' in first fight

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

According to "Money," this fight will be a lot different than their first encounter, because he's a completely different fighter after getting knocked out by Aldo in round one back in 2012.

Since getting knocked out by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the very first round at UFC 142 back in 2012, Chad Mendes has gone on a tear.

"Money" has won five straight inside the Octagon, four by knockout (KO), including victories over Darren Elkins, Clay Guida and more recently at UFC on FOX 10, Nik Lentz.

His impressive run earned him another crack at Aldo, which is set to go down at UFC 176 on Aug. 2, 2014, from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It's a rematch Mendes says he's been preparing for since he lost to Aldo two years ago.

And according to "Money," his drastic improvement during that time will be the difference maker in the rematch, as he proclaims during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, that fight fans should expect a different outcome in the second go-round.

His words:

"I honestly believe, since that first fight, that I am a completely different fighter. Back then, I pretty much relied about 90-percent on my wrestling. Taking that fight, I probably wasn't ready for that fight. I think I had a couple of fights in the UFC, still trying to figure myself out as a fighter. I went in there, took the fight, you just don't turn those fights down in this sport. But, I felt that I was winning the first round or at least staying close with him. I obviously got caught. It's definitely something I'm going to pay attention to. There is a lot of studying I'm going to be doing. I feel like this fight will be a completely different fight."

As far as his gameplan, Mendes says he'll try to mix it all together, but, at the end of the day, he'll be looking to take Aldo's head off.

His breakdown:

"This is my chance. This is my opportunity. I'm going to train harder than I've ever trained before for any fight. I'm going to get in there looking to take Aldo's head off. I'm going to be smart. I'm going to mix up my wrestling. I'm going to put him on the mat. This is a fight that I need to be able to mix up very well, both wrestling and my striking. Obviously my cardio is going to be on point. I'm going to be doing a lot of stuff I did in the Guida fight. Cardio was something that I really paid attention to in that camp and I felt like that was the best shape I'd ever been in for any fight."

Since finishing Mendes at UFC 142, Aldo has defended his 145-pound title three consecutive times against the likes of Frankie Edgar, Chan Sung Jung and more recently, Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169.

The Brazilian bomber's streak has propelled him near the top of the pound-for-pound rankings -- not that he cares -- but his performance against "The Bully" in New Jersey drew the criticism of UFC President Dana White.

But, as Aldo continues his assault on the featherweight division, it seems he is well on his way to cleaning it out, as the rematch -- and victory --  against Mendes could signal the beginning of many run-backs for "Junior."

Anyone expect a different outcome when Aldo and Mendes hook 'em up for the second time? Can "Money" be the one to end Aldo's long-running reign atop the division?

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