It’s approaching three years since Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes last met at UFC 142.

In arguably the most prolific highlight-reel finish of his career, Aldo sent Mendes packing with a vicious knee with seconds remaining in the opening frame in Brazil. Aldo went crowd surfing while Mendes went back to the drawing board.

Fast forward 33 months.

Aldo and Mendes will meet once more in the most anticipated rematch of the year when the UFC travels back to Rio de Janeiro for UFC 179. Taking place at the Ginásio do Maracanãzinho, UFC 179 will take place on Saturday, October 25.

Since his ruinous knockout defeat, Mendes has upped the ante with five straight wins of his own — four coming by way of knockout.

Has Mendes finally deciphered the code to a nearly impossible lock? Or will Aldo keep the title in Brazil?

The MMA Corner’s Josh Davis (21-11) and Garrett Derr (20-12) are here to cash in their predictions for ‘UFC 179: Aldo vs. Mendes’.

 

Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Beniel Dariush

Davis: I have to be honest, I think this fight is a total mismatch.  Yes, Dariush is 8-1, but he does not have a true quality victory under his belt and he does not have the skill set to compete with Ferreira.  Ferreira is a true prospect and is on the verge of being an elite level fighter.  I see Ferreira getting back to his finishing ways and pulling off the submission.

Prediction: Ferreira by Submission, Round 2

Derr: I’m not throwing Dariush in with the wolves, I just can’t wrap my mind around getting pummeled by Ramsey Nijem. While Dariush is highly versatile in his submission and jiu-jitsu game, it doesn’t matchup against Ferreira’s overall skill set. Dariush will survive to the judge’s scorecards, he just won’t be able to withstand Ferreira’s fierce pace.

Prediction: Ferreira by Decision

 

Darren Elkins vs. Lucas Martins

Davis: I look at Elkins as the gatekeeper of the 145 lb. divisionhe is the measuring stick for the division.  You are not going to get a truly elite fighter if you can not get past Elkins.  Elkins is a well-rounded, durable and great conditioned fighter.  The problem in this fight is he is up against a young lion that is on the hunt to prove that he belongs with the division’s elite.  Elkins is the perfect test for Martins and I think he passes with flying colors.

Predictions: Martins by TKO, Round 1

Derr: Man, oh man, did Martins look good in his most recent outing against Alex White. He’s got the speed, striking and conditioning to exchange with the best of themand looks good doing it, too. Elkins is a difficult matchup for anyone at 145 pounds as his conditioning is second to none. The X-factor in this bout will be Martins’ combinations as he’s excelled in the standup. This is the fight where Martins puts his mark on the featherweight division.

Prediction: Martins by KO, Round 2

 

Fabio Maldonado vs. Hans Stringer

Davis: Maldonado comes to fight and is always well-prepared following his extensive camps.  He doesn’t want to wrestle or out-point his opponenthe wants to knock them out. How can you not have love for a guy that comes to fight like that every time?  Not to mention hin chin is granite.  Stringer is a tough guy, but I don’t think he has what it takes to get it done.  My money is on Maldonado.

Prediction: Maldonado by TKO, Round 3

Derr: I’m waiting for the day that Maldonado lives up his potential. Maybe we set the bar too high, or maybe Maldonado hasn’t lived up to our expectations. Either way, he’ll have a chance to prove himself when he meets a rugged fighter in Stringer. While his lack of Octagon experience will play a role, Stringer has the tools to finish his opponents wherever the fight may go. I just don’t think he has the experience needed for an opponent like Maldonado.

Prediction: Maldonado by Decision

 

Glover Teixeira vs. Phil Davis

Davis: This is the classic striker vs. wrestler matchup and both of these fighters have a lot to prove.  Davis is coming off of a very lackluster performance where he was completely outclassed by Anthony Johnson. Teixeira was just dominated by the champion Jon Jones in his last fight.  Truth be told, this is a must win fight for both guys, if they want to stay relevant in this division.  For me it’s simple: if Davis sticks to his wrestling, gets some takedowns and works some ground and pound, he should dominate this fight.  However, if Teixeira is able to keep the fight on the feet, he will probably put Davis to sleep.  Usually, I am a guy who picks the striker because every fight starts on the feet, but in this fight I like Davis. I think he will be able to get the takedowns and get the victory.

Prediction: Davis by Decision

Derr: Born and raised in Harrisburg, PA, Davis and I both come from the 717. And as much as I’d love to see Davis prevail for our hometown, a circus of questions remain unanswered following his atrocious performance against Anthony Johnson back in April. If Davis can’t take Teixeira to the ground and work his wrestling, he’ll be in for a long night. For me, this is an easy one. Davis simply does not have the standup needed to compete in the 205-pound division. Look for Teixeira to pick his shots and add a much-needed win to his resume.

Prediction: Teixeira by Decision

 

Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes

Davis: It was three years ago that Aldo finished off Mendes with a knee from mars. Both fighters have grown and improved since then, but the match-up is still the same.  If Mendes is going to win this fight, he is going to have to get Aldo to the ground.  Mendes will need to use his much-improved striking to set up his takedowns and get the fight to mat.  If he tries to stand and trade with Aldo, I think Aldo will eventually make him pay with leg kicks and the straight right hand.  The trend of Brazilian champions in the UFC is on the decline and eventually somebody is going to beat Aldo, but I don’t think it is going to be Mendes.

Prediction: Aldo by TKO, Round 4

Derr: The fight we’ve all been waiting for. Nearly three years ago, I felt Aldo was a shoe-in. In 2014? Not so much. As critical as it may sound, Aldo hasn’t impressed me as much as he once did during his earlier reign as champ. Yes, those leg kicks are detrimentalbut we’d be foolish to think Mendes isn’t well prepared for them. Aldo hasn’t necessarily teetered off, but Mendes has improved much since their first go-around at UFC 142. Mendes will need to close the distance and overpower Aldo with his wrestling. I’m going with the underdog.

Prediction: Mendes by Decision

 

Follow @JoshDavisMMA and @GarrettDerr on Twitter.

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