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Monday Morning Hangover: Chad Mendes puts forth valiant effort, but comes up short against Jose Aldo (again)

After an action-packed UFC 179 event over the weekend (Sat., Oct. 25, 2014) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, plenty of fighters were still feeling the buzz; however, Chad Mendes is likely suffering from the worst post-fight hangover after suffering the his second title fight loss to Jose Aldo.

Buda Mendes

Another action-packed weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC 179 blew the roof off Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Glover Teixeira -- who was out-wrestled and ultimately outpointed by Phil Davis (video), handing him his second consecutive defeat. And Lucas Martins -- who suffered only the second loss of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career at the hands of Darren Elkins (read about it).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now less than 48 hours removed from the show?

Chad Mendes.

"Money" walked into Brazil looking for some much-desired revenge, finally getting his chance to face the only man to ever defeat him in UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo. With a win, not only would the Team Alpha Male-trained fighter claim the 145-pound title, but it would help erase the memory of getting knocked out by the Brazilian bomber two years ago.

Despite showing drastic improvement in his previous five outings since suffering his first loss, Chad wasn't getting much respect from Aldo, as the champ refused to acknowledge any so-called striking improvements "Money" had made.

For "Junior," the true test would come in facing him, as he has long been known as one of the most lethal stand-up fighters in all of MMA. But, whatever respect Aldo wasn't giving Mendes before, you can bet your bottom dollar he's giving it to him -- and then some -- after their five-round classic.

For 25 minutes, the two talented featherweights exchanged strikes, kicks and knockdowns, as the two put on a fight for the ages (full video highlights).

Mendes was truly on point, staying in the pocket exchanging strike-for-strike, backing the champion down and using his speed to evade Aldo's strikes. He even became the first man to floor Aldo, as a clean hook sent the champ to the canvas.

And though Aldo proved that his takedown defense is legit -- without the help of the cage -- Mendes did manage to take him down once. He didn't do much once on the ground, though I'm sure he didn't have an issue with it, as Mendes was clearly looking to earn the knockout victory and show the MMA world that he truly is one of the best in the division.

Unfortunately, even though he left Aldo's face looking worse for wear, the judges decided Aldo had done enough to retain his title. To be the champ, you have to beat the champ decisively; though I thought the fight was closer than the three ringside judges did (49-46 Aldo).

True, while there are no "moral victories" in MMA, Mendes walked out of the cage with his head held high as well he should. He truly was Aldo's toughest test to date, and though he likely won't get another title shot soon as long as Jose is champ -- despite his "Fight of the Night" performance -- Mendes proved that he has the qualities of being champion.

Still, that doesn't mean Mendes can't climb his way back to the top.

He is more than capable of doing so, and a fight against the loser of the upcoming bout between Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson, would be a good bounce back bout for "Money."

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