Both fighters’ striking looked fluid in the opening moments of the fight. Mendes’ hands were fast and attacked from different angles, allowing him to catch Aldo off guard several times. Aldo’s attack was just as impressive, but he was able to land the leg kicks which forced Mendes to constantly change his stance. Each fighter dropped their opponent in the first round, but Aldo came across controversy as the round ended.
Aldo landed a two punch combination that dropped Mendes after the horn sounded. Mendes popped right back up to his feet and Aldo walked back to is corner as if nothing happened. The referee did not penalize Aldo and he got away with it.
On the other hand, Mendes keeps his hands open until he is ready to strike. With his paws out, trying to keep Aldo at bay, he accidentally poked Aldo once in each eye. Likewise, he was not penalized a point, although he was talked to by the referee.
After a close second round, both fighters nearly finished the fight in the third. Mendes caught Aldo off guard with an uppercut that wobbled the champion. As he backpedaled, Mendes chased him down and got cracked with a combination himself. Aldo tried to jump on him and finish the fight, but he was still groggy and didn’t have the wherewithal to end it. Mendes retaliated with a takedown and the round ended with both men trying to regain their composure.
After a tough fourth round, Aldo’s face was bruised and battered. His left eye swelled up badly and it was a couple solid shots away from closing completely.
Walking into the fifth and final round, it was seemingly tied up at two rounds each. It could have been argued that Aldo was up 3-1, but neither man wanted to leave this fight in the hands of the judges and you could tell by the way they were fighting in the final five minutes. Mendes landed some good shots, and a solid takedown, but it was Aldo who landed the better shots and dictated where the fight went.
Jose Aldo def. Chad Mendes by way of Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)