Featherweight Chad Mendes offers up his predictions and thoughts on the UFC 169 main card.
Q. Since defeating Nick Lentz back at UFC on FOX in December what have you been up to?
A. I have been really busy actually. I moved one week after the fight. I haven’t even had time to unpack. I have also been hunting the last few weekends. I have been doing some snowboarding as well, and have been out to Las Vegas a couple of times.
Q. Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas is a fight we know you will be watching with a close eye. Having previously fought Jose Aldo at UFC 142, what does Ricardo Lamas need to do to have a strong outing against and win?
A. My teammate Danny Castillo has fought Lamas, and has told me that Ricardo is one of the toughest guys he has ever fought. That says a lot coming from Danny. Ricardo’s ground and pound is his best bet to win. We have seen how athletic Jose is--it’s going to be tough to take him down. The question is, is he going to be able to get takedowns early in the fight and maintain control?
Q. What are Ricardo Lamas’ biggest strengths?
A. Wrestling, but he does a great job of mixing it up. His striking has come a long way in his last few fights. His submissions are good too. Ricardo’s ability to put wrestling, striking, and the unknown all together makes him a difficult fighter to prepare for.
Q. What is Jose Aldo’s number one weakness?
A. Honestly I don’t think Aldo has a ton of weaknesses. His wrestling is probably was his biggest weakness in the past, but it’s been gotten a lot better. I’m curious to see how he will fight coming off a broken foot. Will he be hesitant to throw those extremely dangerous leg kicks? Managing his weight too might be a challenge for him. Coming off the foot injury it’s hard to train the same way you have in the past.
Q. Who’s your pick?
A. I believe Jose Aldo will end up winning
Q. Who would you rather fight, Aldo or Lamas?
A. Honestly, I want to fight the best. Whoever wins the belt is who I want to fight. Both Faber and I have lost to Aldo, so it would be great to get redemption if Aldo did end up winning.
Q. Your Team Alpha Male teammate and friend, Urijah Faber, has a championship fight as well against Renan Barao this weekend. How has his training camp been? What’s your take on his fight?
A. It’s been a short training camp, but it’s Urijah. His last camp he had multiple injuries, a cut, and still put on a great fight. He’s a gamer without question. I think he’s going to shock the world. Having a broken rib in the last fight against Barao hurt him he couldn’t get off his offense. I think it’s going to be a completely different fight.
Q. Finally with this being Super Bowl week who is your pick?
A. This is going to sound strange but I don’t really follow sports. I’m out traveling so much and training I don’t really follow sports too closely. Who’s playing? I’m going to go with Seattle.