Saturday, May 7, 2011

UFC Featherweight Title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes could come at UFC 133 in Philadelphia

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Jose Aldo made a successful UFC debut on Saturday night in Toronto at UFC 129, defeating Mark Hominick by decision in an exciting "Fight of the Night" in front of 55,000 fans at the Rogers Centre.

Now, he might be getting himself right back into action this summer, as UFC President Dana White said after the event on Saturday night that Aldo's next title defense will likely come at UFC 133 in Philadelphia against top contender Chad Mendes.

The UFC 133 card is currently without a headliner, with the original plan of Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans getting scrapped when an injury to Jones forced him to bow out, leaving Evans to face Phil Davis on the card instead. Aldo vs. Mendes would put a title fight atop the card, though the UFC could still search for a different headliner on top of that.

Aldo's performance was hampered by an injury that took him out of UFC 125 earlier this year, as well as the layoff and rehab that came with that. He visibly slowed at times throughout the fight, and spent the entirety of the fifth round on his back, giving Hominick a chance to fight back and gave him the opportunity to finish the fight. He survived, but it was the most vulnerable he's looked under the Zuffa banner.

Mendes will come into his first title fight riding a 10-fight win streak to begin his MMA career. Fresh off an impressive and dominating win over Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 126 in February, the ever-improving Mendes will represent a major test for the 24-year-old when they do meet, though the August 6 date is just a tentative target for the fight.

Penick's Analysis: This will be a fantastic fight when it takes place, and it will be a good one for the Philadelphia crowd if they're both ready for the August 6 date. Aldo had some issues in the Hominick fight, but he should be healthier by the time this one rolls around. Mendes will be a fantastic challenger himself, and he continues to improve each and every time he steps into the cage. I'm very much looking forward to the fight when it happens, and it would be a great fit for the Philadelphia event if it does indeed get booked there.


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