Jose Aldo finally showed UFC fans just what he’s capable of tonight at UFC 142 as he brutally knocked out Chad Mendes to retain his featherweight title.
In the early stages Mendes surprised by throwing some leg kicks of his own, but wasn’t long before Aldo was returning the favour, and it was quickly apparent that the power of his were on a different level.
Meanwhile decorated wrestler Mendes must surely have been caught off-guard with just how good Aldo’s takedown defense is.
Several times during the round Mendes swooped for a takedown, but Aldo managed to spin away easily.
Towards the end of the round Mendes finally got a good hold of the champion and though his slam attempts came up short he was able to take his back and landed some knees to the back of his opponent’s legs and dictate the pace of the fight.
And so it looked like we were heading to the second round, but Aldo had something else in mind, and it was spectacular.
With just seconds left to go he managed to break free from Mendes grip, then immediately spun around and threw out a knee strike just as Mendes ducked down for another takedown.
Mendes took the knee flush in the face and reeled back onto the mat.
Aldo gave him no time to recover, pouncing onto him with a punch that landed cleanly and then another to seal the knockout with just a solitary second left in the round.
It was a remarkable moment, and there was more to come as Aldo then ran straight out of the cage and up in amongst the fans to celebrate causing a surge of well-wishers to flock to him, eventually resulting in him being raised aloft on someone’s shoulders while holding a flag, before finally officials and bodyguards were able to usher him back to the safety of the Octagon.
It’s great to see Aldo finally living up to the hype here and offering up the kind of explosive finish he became revered for during his time in the WEC.
Equally impressive however was his takedown defense, becoming the first man to be able to stop Mendes from imposing his wrestling game, and taking that into consideration along with his other skills it’s hard to imagine who’s going to stop this man at 145lbs.