Chad Mendes waited almost three years for a second crack at Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo. After suffering a hugely disappointing first-round knockout loss in the UFC 142 main event on Jan. 14, 2012, “Money” finally got his hands on “Scarface” again.
Unfortunately for the Team Alpha Male star, he came up short in his second title bid, though he held his own for the allotted five rounds and at times put the defending champion in precarious situations. In the end, Aldo proved once again that he is arguably the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter. Yes, the UFC’s famed Octagon is his town, and he runs it.
Aldo fought in front of thousands of his countrymen, and his walkout music for the UFC 179 headliner perfectly fit his performance. “Run This Town,” from Jay-Z and featuring Rihanna and Kanye West, personified not only Aldo’s masterful victory over Mendes but also his position atop the UFC’s talent-rich 145-pound division. Aldo remains without equal, and he certainly runs the featherweight class.
Mendes walked out to “Country Boy,” from Aaron Lewis and featuring George Jones and Charlie Daniels, and proved to have country-boy strength, as he rocked Aldo a few times with punches and muscled the champion around the cage when he could. That same sort of country-boy strength came in handy when, after the first round, Mendes was out on his feet -- a right hand after the bell did the trick -- and it seemed only a matter of time before he was put down for good. He proved resilient, though his efforts were not enough. Mendes fell short in a terrific match that helped bring a largely lifeless UFC 179 card back from the dead.
Meanwhile, light heavyweight contender Phil Davis was “Nuthin’” but dominant against former title challenger Glover Teixeira in the co-main, winning a unanimous decision. Davis bounced back from his loss to Anthony Johnson in his previous outing at UFC 172 to inch a little closer to 205-pound champion Jon Jones.
While it may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing battle in recent memory, Davis scored key takedowns and landed effective strikes en route to the decision win. Representing Christian rapper Lecrae’s “Nuthin’” for his entrance, “Mr. Wonderful” could afford nothing but a win against Teixeira, who has suddenly dropped two straight after rattling off 20 consecutive victories.
Though he was not sent to sleep with a highlight-reel knockout, Brazilian Fabricio Camoes was dreaming if he thought he was going to escape the nasty kimura locked on by opponent Tony Martin. One of the biggest hits from Aerosmith, easily one of the most successful rock bands in history, “Dream On” proved to be the perfect walkout music for the Brock Larson protégé, as his airtight kimura was flawless and kept alive Martin’s dream of climbing the lightweight ladder in the UFC.
UFC 179 Walkout SongsJose Aldo: Jay-Z feat. Rihanna & Kanye West “Run This Town” | The Blueprint 3 (2009)
Chad Mendes: Aaron Lewis feat. George Jones & Charlie Daniels “Country Boy” | Town Line (2011)
Phil Davis: Lecrae “Nuthin” | Anomaly (2014)
Fabio Maldonado: Gonzaguinha “O que é o que é” | Caminhos do Coracao (1982)
Hans Stringer: Skrillex “Bangarang” | Bangarang EP (2011)
Lucas Martins: CPM 22 “Tarde de Outubro” | CPM 22 (2001)
Carlos Diego Ferreira: Matthew West “Strong Enough” | The Story of Your Life (2010)
Beneil Dariush: Michael Jackson “Rock with You” | Off the Wall (1979)
Christos Giagos: Three Days Grace “Animal I Have Become” | One-X (2006)
Tony Martin: Aerosmith “Dream On” | Aerosmith (1973)
Fabricio Camoes: Afrika Bambaata & Paul Oakenfold “Planet Rock” | Swordfish Soundtrack (2001)
Mike Sloan is the president and co-owner of GrappleVegas.com.