UFC 142 Odds: Mendes vs. Aldo Betting Predictions
by Scott Johnson - 1/9/2012
The UFC returns to Brazil to kick-start 2012 with a dynamite Featherweight title fight headlining UFC 142. On Jan. 14, Jose Aldo -265 will return to the cage looking to defend his title for a third time and extend his winning streak to a remarkable 13 straight. This will be Aldo’s first opportunity to headline a UFC event after putting his title on the line in two co-main event matchups.
Opposing the champ will be California Powerhouse Chad ‘Money’ Mendes +205. At 11-0 Mendes has put together a dominant run, clearly cementing himself as the No. 2 Featherweight in the UFC. Mendes is a powerful wrestler and uses his skills to dominate his opponents. Although this isn’t overly an exciting style, it’s incredibly effective; over his last six fights Mendes has attempted 40 takedowns and landed 28.
On his feet, Aldo has considerable power with 12 career knockouts. He effectively uses all eight of his weapons -- hands, elbows, knees, and feet -- and does so in a manner that leaves opponents wondering what hit them. See Aldo/Swanson from WEC 41 for a perfect example.
Training with Team Alpha Male, Chad Mendes couldn’t ask for a better man to help him to prepare for this fight then Urijah Faber. At WEC 48, Faber faced Aldo for the title, losing a five-round decision. Even though Urijah was thoroughly defeated by the champ, he should still be able to provide his teammate with insight into facing the Brazilian knockout artist.
What this fight really comes down to is can Chad Mendes get Jose Aldo on the ground and if he is able to can he keep the Brazilian there. Mendes will not be the first man to face Aldo with a game plan centered on takedowns. Four of Aldo’s previous opponents; Mike Brown, Faber, Manny Gamburyan and Kenny Florian attempted a combined 35 takedowns, completing just one. Kenny Florian was the only man to complete a takedown and Aldo got back up almost instantly.
Aldo has next-level takedown defense. The combination of his speed, physical strength, and overall skill make it difficult for his opponent to get their hands on him and even harder to control him. If Mendes is able to establish some form of control on the mat, Aldo is a BJJ black belt so he is far from unprepared.
The issue of cardio has crept into the Aldo conversation after he faded late against Mark Hominick. Florian attempted to exploit this with little success by using constant pressure, and I expect a similar game plan from Mendes. Even if Aldo fatigues late and Mendes is able to get him to the ground, the challenger is not a proven finisher and I expect Jose will already be too far ahead on the scorecards for it to make a difference.
Aldo is well-rounded, unfortunately the challenger is not. As dominant as Mendes is on the ground, his striking is still a work in progress. Anything Mendes attempts standing will be to set up his shot as exchanging with the champ would be incredibly counterproductive.
We really haven’t seen Chad Mendes forced out of his comfort zone and that is what Aldo will try to do. Jose has fought a little more conservative of late, but Mendes has never tasted Aldo’s type of power and could crumble if and when he does.
The play here is Aldo to retain his title and at -265 it will not provide a huge return, but compared to previous title fights it is far from the poorest payout on a champion in recent memory.
Mendes may seem tempting as an underdog, but this is a dangerous play. When comparing Mendes and teammate Faber, Mendes is relatively one-dimensional as Faber is a far superior striker. When Urijah met Aldo, Faber struggled to get any offense going and I would expect that Mendes with fewer tools to work with then the “California Kid” will have similar issues.
It’s hard to pick a prop bet in this fight. Aldo has gone to decision three of his last four fights, but he also has the knockout power to end the bout at any point in time. Conversely, if Mendes has success with his takedowns it could be a nightmare if you placed your money on the ‘under’. Stick with Aldo to retain his title, avoid betting on the ‘over/under’ or method it will finish, enjoy what should be an overall exciting card and make sure you check out the rest of the betting prediction for UFC 142 here at Doc’s Sports.
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