At the start of this week Chad Mendes stated during an interview on ‘The MMA Hour’ show that Jose Aldo, ‘can’t run from me forever’, after the featherweight champion pulled out of their UFC 176 headliner due to an injury, and it’s fair to say that the Brazilian star isn’t too happy about it.
So much so in fact that Aldo felt compelled to write an open letter to his rival to put him on blast for alluding that he was purposefully trying to duck out of the fight.
Read the full letter below (translated from the original Brazilian version on combate.com courtesy of MMAjunkie.com):
“I learned about the statements by Chad Mendes, and I have some doubts and questions for him. Regarding running away from him, I can only assume he’s calling me a coward. And that’s something that’s outside the realm of our sport of MMA. Which is why I will say this to him: you don’t know where I was born, what I went through to still be alive today, and where I came from. And seem to know next to nothing about my MMA career. But that’s OK; I’m guessing you might be a little confused.
I saw a statement in which you thought it was disrespectful for me to jump into the arms of my fans after knocking you out in Brazil. But wasn’t it you who, one week before calling me disrespectful, said that perhaps this time you’ll be the one running into the crowd as I did in Rio?
Concerning my injuries, maybe I have so many because I’m probably not taking the same ‘supplements’ you take. I have injuries because I work very hard to beat your ass as I did last time. And I think you remember well, and have nightmares about it to this day. I did all the necessary medical tests, but if now you are also a doctor, I can send the exams for you to evaluate. Maybe you could prescribe one of your supplements for me to get better faster?
Regarding how long I’ll stay idle, it is the doctors who will decide. He who gets beat up usually runs to avoid it a second time, but it’s no use running because I’m coming after you. Until the octagon gate slams shut, you can say whatever you want, because when it’s all said and done you won’t be able to open your mouth. So keep talking while you still can. And are you in charge of where I get to fight now? If that’s not the case, I don’t think Dana White would like seeing someone make decisions on his behalf.
Also I heard talk that you’d even fight for an interim belt. I guess you don’t want to wait for me, but that doesn’t make much sense because (Anthony) Pettis hasn’t fought since August of last year, due to injury, and we haven’t seen an interim lightweight belt. Cain (Velasquez) hasn’t fought since last October, and will only fight again in November. And as you well know, I already fought this year, in February (I beat Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169). There are still many months left until the end of this year and, even then, it would be less time than both Pettis and Cain have been inactive.
You seem most eager to only fight at home, and you refuse to fight me in Brazil. I got injured in Brazil before facing Frankie (Edgar) and I still went to Las Vegas to fight. I already fought there in your home (Sacramento) against your teacher (Urijah Faber); I fought in (Mark) Hominick ‘s home in front of 55,000 people; I fought in Japan, and in Europe. And you’re saying that you will be champion? A champion does not choose opponents or locations, so now I ask you who is the real COWARD?”
Aldo defeated Mendes by knockout late in the first round of their initial encounter back at UFC 142 in January of 2012 in Brazil.
Since then Mendes has made a convincing case that he deserves another shot at the title, stringing together five victories in a row, showing off vastly improved striking along the way with four stoppages by either KO or TKO. So, 17 fights into his professional career Aldo is the only loss on his record and therefore it’s understandable that he’s eager to make amends for that.
Despite struggling with injury setbacks, Aldo has defended his title a further three times since then to remain unbeaten in the UFC and with just one loss on his 25 fight record, leaving him ranked No.2 on the UFC’s official pound-for-pound rankings behind Jon Jones.