Chad Mendes finally gets his chance to avenge his UFC 142 loss to champion Jose Aldo tomorrow night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
That quick fence grab by Aldo in the first fight ended making a big impact in the first fight. But Mendes has his work ahead to get Aldo down on the mat.
With fellow Team Alpha Male colleague TJ Dillashaw beating Aldo’s counterpart Renan Barao in spectacular fashion at UFC 173, one can understand his confidence.
Aldo, usually a quiet, dignified man, seems to have the younger and hungry persona of the Aldo we saw back in his WEC days.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman checks in with her thoughts:
UFC FIGHTPASS EARLY PRELIMS 7PM EST/4PM PST
FABRICIO “MORANGO” CAMOES (14-8-1) VS TONY MARTIN (8-2-0)
NOTE: BOTH FIGHTERS MISSED WEIGHT
Wiseman: This fight can go either way once on the mat, which is exactly where it will end up. This will be a BJJ chess match for sure, but I’m not 100% sure that’s what Camoes should do. He has the better wrestling and the better striking, so it would clearly be in his best interest to keep things on the feet. Martin throws combinations solely for the purpose of getting things to the mat. It’s paid off for him, but he hasn’t gone against a skilled ground fighter like Camoes before. I see these fighters going hard early, but Martin will get tired first as he works hard to get a submission, all the while Camoes will be defending and challenging with submissions as well. Entertaining, but the full three rounds will be needed.
Wiseman Prediction: Fabricio Camoes via decision.
GILBERT ” DURINHO” BURNS (8-0-0) VS CHRISTOS GIAGOS (10-2-0)
Wiseman: Giagos has a ton of heat coming behind him as he makes his UFC debut, but he isn’t going against an easy opponent. Burns has the same skill settings as Giagos, so it will be a challenge for both fighters. With that said, the greatest advantage that Burns has is his experience fighting higher level opponents. With the power and ground game that these guys pack it can go either way, but I have Burns taking it simply based on the level of opponents he has faced.
Wiseman Prediction: Gilbert “Durinho” Burns via unanimous decision.
UFC FIGHTPASS PRELIMS 8PM EST/5PM PST
FELIPE “SERTANEJO” ARANTES (16-5-1, 2 NC) VS ANDRE “TOUCHY” FILI (13-2-0)
Wiseman: The leg kicks and stance of Fili is what make him a hard opponent. The power he possesses, his ground game when needed, just a well-rounded fighter. Arantes has power and a ground game, but as I mentioned it’s Fili’s ability to fight long that makes him difficult to battle. Arantes will search for the right range and Fili will have several combinations fired before Arantes knows what is happening. This forces his opponents to be on the defence more, giving Fili time to use his precision striking to find the perfect spot for a KO finish.
Wiseman Prediction: Andre “Touchy” Fili via TKO.
SCOTT “YOUNG GUNS” JORGENSEN (15-9-0) VS WILSON REIS (18-5-0)
NOTE: JORGENSEN MISSED WEIGHT.
Wiseman: Speed is one thing, but speed matched with wrestling and a ground game is what we are in store for in this battle. I have Jorgensen winning in the wrestling department, but Reis is talented off his back which will only bring these fighters to putting on a ground game show.
Wiseman Prediction: Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen via split-decision.
WILLIAM “PATOLINO” MACARIO (8-1-0) VS NEIL MAGNY (12-4-0)
Wiseman: There is a danger when a fighter is taller. It forces the shorter fighter to swing upward. This often leads to a KO for the shorter fighter. Macario has the power to do exactly that in this match. Magny fights long, which he will need to do to try to stop this, but his chin has shown weakness in the past. On the reverse side, when a fighter learns they have KO power, technique tends to go out the window and all they do is swing for the fences. However, I don’t see that for Macario.
Wiseman Prediction: William “Patolino” Macario via TKO.
YAN CABRAL (11-1-0) VS NAOYUKI KOTANI (33-11-7)
Wiseman: If you don’t like BJJ matches, this fight would be a great time to take a break. I give this match 30 seconds max before it’s taken to the mat. 30 seconds, max. These guys don’t mess around with striking, especially Cabral. Kotani has the edge due to experience and versatility, so Cabral will need to draw on a little more than his ground game.
Wiseman Prediction: Naoyuki Kotani via TKO.
MAIN CARD 10PM EST/7PM PST
DIEGO FERREIRA (10-0-0) VS BENEIL DARIUSH (8-1-0)
Wiseman: It’s not a question of whether Dariush will end up on his back, he will. Ferreira is about to put people down if he wants. With that comes a load of power due to the fact that he can dictate where the fights goes. This also gives him the advantage with the judges as he will be on top for the majority of the fight. Dariush has a solid ground game, but Ferreira is no fool on the mat, especially from top position.
Wiseman Prediction: Diego Ferreira via unanimous decision.
#13 DARREN “THE DAMAGE” ELKINS (18-4-0) VS LUCAS “MINEIRO” MARTINS (15-1-0)
Wiseman: The speed, defence, power, and submission game all favor Martins. Elkins has the experience advantage, but that’s the end. Martins will be able to force Elkins on the defence and just won’t stop until the ref steps in. The combinations Martins throws will cause Elkins to find himself against the cage until his head hits the mat. That’s the way Martins does business and Elkins doesn’t have the skill setting to prevent it.
Wiseman Prediction: Lucas “Mineiro” Martins via TKO.
#15 FABIO MALDONADO (21-7-0) VS HANS STRINGER (22-5-3)
Wiseman: I’d give the cardio and wrestling advantage to Maldonaldo. This also gives him the advantage of choosing where the fight goes, which is huge. Stringer has great power, but when on the defence you can’t put together combinations. That’s what Maldonaldo will force, until he chooses to put Stringer on his back. Maldonaldo wears down his opponents simply by weighing down on them while getting in some ground-and-pound. Stringer’s cardio will be the first to go which will only play into the game plan of Maldonaldo.
Wiseman Prediction: Fabio Maldonaldo via TKO.
#4 GLOVER TEIXEIRA (22-3-0) VS #6 PHIL “MR. WONDERFUL” DAVIS (12-2-0, 1 NC)
Wiseman: There is no doubting the power of Texiera, but the biggest issue in this fight is the wrestling of Davis. Davis can take anyone down, so Teixeira having a high level wrestler and grappler, I don’t see really things going his way. I have Davis grinding out a decision like always.
Wiseman Prediction: “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis via decision.
JOSE “JUNIOR” ALDO (24-1-0) VS #1 CHAD “MONEY” MENDES (16-1-0)
Wiseman: The power of Aldo and his kicks are a thing of beauty. Aldo can fight long and counter well. He does have a ground game, but we haven’t seen it because of his superior standup. Mendes has improved his striking leaps and bounds, he still has his wrestling abilities, so yes, he has grown. The problem is he still hasn’t improved his striking be to better than Aldo. His best bet would be to really push the pace and hope Aldo’s cardio becomes a problem. Otherwise I see this being Aldo’s night.
Wiseman Prediction : Jose “Junior” Aldo via decision.
Tyler Morrison is a professional standup comedian, writer and UFC fan. He is one of the comedians handpicked to appear at The Ron Jeremy Roast, which takes place at The Royal Theatre November 5th in Toronto.
Morrison: I’m pretty sure I saw their first fight. Yeah, he’s a weapon. It’s going to go three and it’s going to be a knockout. Don’t tell the other guy though.
Morrison Prediction: Jose “Junior” Aldo via knockout.