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UFC 179 preview: 'Winner's Circle' for Aldo vs. Mendes 2 PPV in Brazil

What could victory mean for Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Phil Davis, and Glover Teixeira ahead of their respective marquee bouts this weekend (Sat., Oct. 25, 2014) at Ginásio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? ponders the consequences below.

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

In the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), you are only as good as your last performance, so winning is absolutely paramount.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the pay-per-view (PPV) fold this weekend (Sat., Oct. 25, 2014) after a three-week sabbatical with the UFC 179: "Aldo vs Mendes 2" offering live from Ginásio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While this card is certainly not as stacked as last month's UFC 178 PPV, fight fans can look forward to several intriguing match ups throughout the card.

In the main event, 145-pound kingpin Jose Aldo looks to defend his title for the seventh time in the Octagon against a familiar foe in Chad Mendes. The world's top two featherweights collided back in 2012, with Aldo defending his belt in his home country of Brazil via brutal first-round knockout. Mendes has climbed all the way back to the pinnacle of the division with five straight victories, but will he fall victim to Aldo in Brazil once again?

The co-main event features two of the top 10 ranked light heavyweights in the world coming off troubling losses in their last outings. No. 4 ranked Glover Teixeira will look to keep the fight standing as he takes on the former NCAA wrestling champion, and No. 6 ranked Phil Davis. Both men need impressive victories on Saturday night if they want a chance to fight for UFC gold in 2015.

With a ton on the line for the four headlining fighters heading into this weekend's PPV, let's take a gander into the future and predict what victory could potentially mean for each martial artist.

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo is the last remaining Brazilian champion in the UFC today, and boy would it be tough to give up his belt to an American in his native country of Brazil.

Aldo knows that this is not the same Chad Mendes he faced back in 2012, even if he wants to claim Mendes has not evolved. Regardless, the champ must derive confidence from the fact that he is the only man to have defeated Mendes thus far in his career, and especially in such devastating fashion.

If Aldo retains his title on Saturday evening, he has several options laid out in front of him. With the featherweight division as stacked as it has ever been before, the Brazilian could find himself fighting Irish sensation Conor McGregor in early 2015, or rematching either Cub Swanson or Frankie Edgar once those two settle their score at UFC Fight Night 57.

If Aldo is not keen on yet another rematch, he could vacate his title and move up to lightweight in order to fight the winner of Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez; although that seems unlikely at this point. The only reason Aldo would move up is due to the drastic weight cut he endures in order to make the 145-pound limit, and we all know how hefty weight cutting turned out for his teammate Renan Barao.

Aldo is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters in this generation, so whether he continues his dominance in the featherweight division, or moves up to 155 pounds, we will all eagerly watch the Brazilian champ style on his foes.

Chad Mendes

If Chad Mendes can rectify his issues from 2012, and put together a stellar performance on Saturday evening, he has a great chance to leave the Octagon with the belt firmly strapped around his waist.

If Team Alpha Male garners yet another title this weekend, Mendes will quickly find his way onto the UFC pound-for-pound list, and become the target of every fighter in the 145-pound weight class.

A "Money" win provides basically the same options as an Aldo victory, but there is potential for a new foe in Frankie Edgar. If Swanson was to beat Edgar, however, then he would likely rematch Mendes for the title in 2015. Of course, you can't count out Conor McGregor, especially after the duo's heated encounter on "Beyond The Octagon."

A new champion in a division dominated by the previous champion is always exciting, so a Mendes win provides a ton of new avenues for the UFC to venture into.

Phil Davis

Phil Davis badly wants a shot at the UFC title, but losses in critical bouts have kept him from the apex of the sport thus far. If Davis wants a crack at Jon Jones (or Daniel Cormier) in 2015, he must defeat former title challenger Glover Teixeira this weekend.

The issue for Davis is that he not only must win the fight, but he must win in exciting fashion. Beating a Brazilian in Brazil is already tough enough, but when faced with one of the hardest hitters in the division looking to take your head off, it makes the task even that more difficult. Couple it with the fact that Davis can't afford a lay-and-pray decision, and "Mr. Wonderful" has quite the undertaking ahead of him.

Luckily for Davis, he employs a sensational jiu-jitsu game, and there is an avenue in this bout for Davis to choke out Teixeira. Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Absolutely.

If Davis does get the finish, the light heavyweight division is so thin that he would likely get a title shot with one more marquee victory over someone like Ryan Bader, or the winner of Jimi Manuwa vs. Shogun Rua at UFC Fight Night 56.

If Davis earns a lackluster decision over Teixeira, it seems very unlikely that he will be in the title conversation whatsoever until he wildly impresses the fans and the ZUFFA overlords.

Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira is in a bad spot no matter the outcome on Saturday night. Teixeira already got his crack at UFC gold earlier this year when he fought Jon Jones, and boy did he take a hellacious beating from the champ.

Teixeira may have dominated everyone else in his wake, but he was completely outclassed by Jones back in April. With the poor performance Teixeira put on at UFC 172, it is unlikely that anyone is itching to see the Brazilian get another crack at the belt anytime soon.

Regardless, if Teixeira does want to fight for the title once more, he must defeat "Mr. Wonderful" on Saturday night. If he puts Davis away, the Brazilian would likely need at least two more wins before vying for a title, but who would he fight? Having already defeated Ryan Bader, the only other options near the top 10 would be the winner of Shogun vs. Manuwa, or a prospect the UFC decides to feed to the wolves.

Teixeira could look at Mendes for inspiration, considering "Money" was knocked out by Aldo in the first round in 2012, and now he finds himself vying for the title once more. Teixeira was not finished by Jones, so maybe in his mind he can earn a shot at the title once again. Only time will tell.

That's a wrap!

For all the latest UFC 179: "Aldo vs Mendes" news, information, updated fight card, and more click here.

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