UFC 179 Recap: Jose Aldo Retains Title in Thrilling Fight with Chad Mendes
By Jaime C. Feal
Starting off the main card, the highly regarded and undefeated Carlos Diego Ferreira looked uninspired and dropped his first fight in a decision loss to Beneil Dariush. The action didn’t improve much in the next fight, as Darren Elkins shut down Lucas Martins with Octagon control to win a unanimous decision victory. Martins had his moments, but could not find enough space to ever fully launch his attacks. In the co-main event, Phil Davis used his wrestling to control Glover Teixeira en route to a unanimous decision victory. Davis said he would like to fight Anderson Silva next in the post-fight interview. In the main event, a back and forth brawl saw Jose Aldo emerge victorious after 5 great rounds against Chad Mendes.
Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs.):
Fabio Maldonado (21-7, 4-4 UFC) vs. Hans Stringer (22-5-3, 1-0 UFC)
Maldonado gets taken down right away. Stringer in half guard. Good short elbows from Stringer, who is trying to pass to mount. Huge elbow creates a nasty hematoma on Maldonado’s forehead. Another big elbow to the cheekbone, Maldonado not defending well. Stringer passes to mount. Maldonado trying to buck him off, can’t do it. Maldonado escapes back to his feet, but gets taken right back down. The hematoma on the forehead has now burst, but the blood isn’t affecting Fabio’s vision. Stringer in full guard going back to the ground and pound. 10-9 round for Stringer.
Stringer lands a right hand and goes for a body lock. Maldonado with his back to the cage, can’t break free. Stringer tries for a Muay Thai clinch, but loses his grip. Maldonado lands a couple jabs, then eats a kick and waves Stringer on. Maldonado eats a right hand, again taunts Stringer. Maldonado wants a stand up war, but Stringer wisely takes him down. Maldonado is able to get back up and get a takedown of his own. The crowd cheers wildly as Fabio lands his first meaningful offense of the fight. Good short punches from Maldonado, who is turning up the volume with his punches now. Stringer jus covering up with a lot of time left. Big body punches, calculated but nasty attack by Maldonado here. Stringer doing nothing, getting wailed on, referee telling him to fight back, then steps in to stop the contest. Nice comeback victory from Maldonado, who embraces his training partner Anderson Silva as the crowd goes wild.
Fabio Maldonado wins by TKO at 4:06 of Round 2.
Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs.):
Glover Teixeira (22-3, 5-1 UFC) vs. Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis (12-2, 8-2 UFC)
Davis immediately goes for a takedown, but Teixeira sprawls. They stand up and Davis is trying to grapple, Glover quickly breaks free. Davis lands a nice front kick and big straight right hand. Glover rushes forward with some big hooks, but Davis circles away nicely. Teixeira tries to pull guard and go for a guillotine choke. It ends up backfiring as he loses the choke, and is now on his back. Davis is riding Glover, controlling him well.
Davis gets Glover to the ground and works for a guillotine. He bails on it and lands some good right hands, then tosses Glover around and lands more left big punches. 10-9 round for Davis.
Davis is bouncing around, circling the outside of the cage. Now Davis goes for a one-two, looking for short punching combos. Glover not doing much. Good left hook from Teixeira, but Davis then goes for a takedown and gets it. Davis working left hands while on Glover’s back. Amazing reversal from Glover, working for a choke himself now. Davis gets back up. Nice right body kick from Davis, gets another takedown. Davis in half guard, then passes to side control. Glover rolls to all fours, which is a worse position for him, as Davis is just riding his back and nailing him with punches. Glover finally gets up, but Davis is still all over his back. Glover is able to spin around and break free. Nice one-two from Davis. Nice jabs from Davis. Glover rushes in with a left hook but doesn’t connect clean. Glover charges forward, lands a body punch, then gets taken down. 10-9 round for Davis.
Big left hook lands for Glover, now trying to fight off a takedown. Davis has Glover against the cage. The fighters separate, and Davis gets another beautiful double leg takedown. Davis in half guard, then passes to mount. Teixeira gives up his back, and Davis lands some hard knees to the body. Glover briefly gets up, only to get tossed back down to the same position. Nice right hands from Davis, keeping great wrestling and punching pressure on Teixeira. More big right hands, Glover not doing much to defend, just eating the shots. Finally Teixeira stands up again, then Davis rides him all the way to the cage. They break free and Glover lands a big right hand. Davis goes for a double leg, gets denied, but stays persistent and gets Glover down. Davis closes the fight in the familiar, dominant position, landing right hands while controlling Glover. 10-9 round for Davis.
All three judges score the fight 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis.
UFC Featherweight Championship (145 lbs.):
Jose Aldo (24-1, 6-0 UFC) vs. Chad “Money” Mendes (16-1, 7-1 UFC)
Quick touch of the gloves, then Mendes charges forward. Good one-two from Mendes, then a nice leg kick. Good flurry of punches from Aldo. The champion eats a huge left hook that stuns him and drops him. Mendes tries with a big uppercut and just misses. Aldo is still right there in front of him, lands a leg kick. Inside leg kick from Mendes. Nice body shot from Aldo. Big left hands from Mendes, surprisingly standing and trading with Aldo. Counter left hook finds the mark for Mendes, Aldo responds with a nasty combination and leg kick. Body shot from Aldo, but eats a counter left hook. Mendes with a good overhand right. Great round with just over a minute left. Outside leg kick for Aldo. Fight gets stopped for an inadvertent eye poke to Aldo. Doctors check on the champ, fight resumes. The fighters comes out swinging crazy, bog knee from Aldo. Big left hook from Aldo drops Mendes. Aldo is on top landing punches. Full mount for Aldo, pounding on Mendes with punches. Mendes gets up with ten seconds left. Nice uppercut from Aldo, then gets destroyed by a one-two that is clearly after the horn. Mendes is out on his feet, doesn’t know where he is. Referee Marc Goddard with a big error there, not stepping in between them in time or deducing a point. 10-9 round for Aldo
Mendes goes for a takedown, stuffs it, and then gets caught with an unintentional low blow. The fight is briefly stopped for Aldo to recover, then resumes. Mendes switching stances, lands a body kick. Aldo responds with a body kick of his own. Mendes tries a head kick, gets swept down to the ground. Mendes pops back up. Good straight right hand to the body from Aldo. Good jabs from the Champion, three in a row. Big counter hook combination from the challenger now. Vicious hook to the body from Aldo. Straight right to the body again lands for Aldo. The pace slows, Mendes feinting but not throwing as much. 10-9 round for Aldo.
A frantic pace to the start of the round. Aldo lands first, then an eye poke stops the fight again. Mendes gets a warning but no point deduction. Huge left hand from Mendes, Aldo fires right back. Quick left hook from Aldo catches Mendes. Two more left hooks hammer home. Aldo turning it on a little, Mendes backs him off with a counter left hook. Very nice jab from Mendes. Big uppercut from Mendes huts Aldo, Mendes is pouncing, trying to get the finish. Aldo now catches Mendes hard coming in. Aldo is the predator now, Mendes is rocked and on the defensive. Aldo is teeing off, looking for the finish. Mendes is surviving, gets a hold of Aldo, and has a body lock. Huge left hook from Mendes on the break. What a round, what a fight. 10-10 round.
Mendes rushes forward again, still showing high energy. Aldo’s face is bruised and battered even though he has landed the cleaner shots. The featherweights exchange front kicks. Mendes trying to establish the jab. Good uppercut from the challenger. Very hard, stiff jab from Mendes. Big uppercut from Mendes, Aldo is bleeding under his eye. Nice straight right from Aldo. Jab from Mendes, countered by Aldo with a straight right. Big right hand from Mendes. Crisp left hook from Aldo, then a hard one-two. Aldo just misses with a nasty flying knee strike. 10-9 round for Mendes.
Two heavy hooks connect for Mendes. One-two from Aldo, body kick from Mendes. The challenger shoots in for a power double leg, and gets Aldo to the ground. Aldo working to get back to his feet. Knee to the body by Mendes, Aldo gets back up. Three minutes to go in this title fight. Nice left hand from the Champion, hard one-two snaps Mendes’ head back. Knee to the chest from Aldo, caught by Mendes, but Aldo escapes to a better position. Back on the feet with two minutes left. Good left hook to the body from Mendes. Hard jab from Mendes. One-two again lands with pinpoint accuracy for Aldo. Mendes goes for a takedown, gets shrugged off this time. Nice right hand from Mendes, Aldo with a flying body kick to close the fight. 10-9 round for Aldo.
All three judges score the fight 49-46 for the winner by unanimous decision, Jose Aldo.