In anticipation of what could very likely turn out to be a grappling match with Chad Mendes, UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo is recruiting the services of former lightweight top contender Gray Maynard to help him prepare for his January 14th title defense.
“We have a big interest in bringing Maynard to train with me,” Aldo told Sherdog. “He has such strong wrestling and we want people that [have] the same game Chad Mendes does.
“Mendes is a competitive and hard guy to fight. Me and Maynard have been in touch since UFC 136, and he also said it’s his will to train with us at Nova Uniao [in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil], but nothing is confirmed thus far, especially because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m waiting for the answer.”
Mendes holds a perfect 11-0 record and earned his top contender status by hanging a convincing win over Rani Yahya at UFC 133. The August bout was his fourth straight where he utilized his superior wrestling game to score a unanimous decision victory.
Maynard is a powerful 155-pounder that has parlayed his three-time All-American wrestling resume from Michigan State University into becoming a perennial lightweight contender.
Aldo owns an impressive 20-1 pro mark and is perfect through his last 13 scraps. The division’s most lethal assassin has imposed his diversified striking skills to successfully defended his throne four times, so it’s clear he would like to keep their scrap standing. At the same time, he owns a black belt in jiu jitsu so by no means is he afraid to go to the ground.
The featherweights will do battle at UFC 142 in Brazil. Although the organization has yet to announce a venue, the HSBC Arena in Rio de Jenairo is the frontrunner to host the fiesta.