Considering the fact that Jose Aldo viciously knocked out Chad Mendes in the very first round of their first meeting, it was fair to wonder whether or not a rematch would be worth the time and energy spent promoting it. Sure, the former challenger racked up five consecutive wins (four by stoppage) to earn as much, but would that make him a threat to actually take the featherweight title and hand "Scarface" his first defeat since 2005?
Yes, it did
But no, he didn't.
Indeed, Mendes proved he could, in fact, go toe-to-toe with the 145-pound king but he could not take his crown, as evidenced by the unanimous decision loss he suffered in the main event of last night's (Oct. 25, 2014) UFC 179 pay-per-view (PPV) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Still, he did not go gentle into that good night.
Mendes was aggressive from the outset and it paid off in the form of a first round knockdown. Aldo, the strong champion that he is, responded in similar fashion. It was not without controversy, however, as he ended the round firing off punches with two of them landing as the horn was sounding, the second of which had Mendes seeing stars.
"Money" battled back in the second and by the third, he was back to his initial form, rocking the champion with a hard uppercut and a couple left hooks behind it. But, just like before, when it appeared Aldo was in danger he responded with counter punches that completely turned the tide, nearly earning a finish of his own just seconds after nearly being finished himself.
It appeared at least possible Mendes would have in the final frame after a strong fourth round, but Aldo, who has always had a questionable gas tank, showed all the resiliency in the world by coming back big to win the last one, and seal the deal on a 49-46, 49-46, 49-46 unanimous decision victory.
Mendes perfectly summed up the collective feeling on this fight when it was over: "Holy shit was that fun, dude!"
Anyone up for a trilogy?