The first time Jose Aldo faced Chad Mendes, the fight ended with one second left in the first round. Mendes spent most of the last minute of the first stanza holding Aldo against the cage and landing knees to the legs of his opponent. Then, as the clock ticked down, Aldo spun out of Mendes’ grasp and landed a left knee to the head of Mendes. The blow ended the fight right before the horn to end the round.
That win was Aldo’s third successful defense of the UFC featherweight title. Two years later, the two met for a second time. Aldo had defended the title three more times. Mendes had gone 5-0 with four knockouts to get a second title shot.
The bout headlined UFC 179, which took place in Aldo’s home country of Brazil in October 2014.
Unlike the first matchup, the rematch between Aldo and Mendes went the five-round distance. Aldo took home the victory by unanimous decision. Both men took home $50,000 bonus awards for “Fight of the Night.” When 2014 came to a close, the five-round battle was honored with “Fight of the Year” accolades at the World MMA Awards.
Aldo’s title reign ended in his next outing. Conor McGregor knocked him out in 13 seconds in that contest. Aldo won the interim title in 2016. He was later promoted to undisputed champion. He lost that title in 2017 to Max Holloway.
Aldo then went 2-2 in his next four fights. He dropped to bantamweight in 2019. In his first fight at 135 pounds, Aldo dropped a split decision to Marlon Moraes.
UFC 251 takes place Saturday, July 11 at Fight Island on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The pay-per-view card streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.
UFC 251 is headlined by three title fights. In the main event, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. In the co-headliner, UFC featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski faces Max Holloway.
Before that fight takes place, watch Aldo’s decision win over Mendes.