Jose Aldo -300
Chad Mendes +230
A member of Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male, Mendes possesses extremely impressive wrestling ability, an area of the game where Aldo is widely considered at his weakest.
As a collegiate wrestler at Cal Poly State, Mendes was a two-time NCAA All-American. With wins over the likes of Cub Swanson, Michihiro Omigawa and Rani Yahya, Mendes' wrestling ability has already translated into a successful MMA career.
At 26 years old, Mendes is also still improving.
In his past two fights against Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian, Aldo showed his striking prowess in victory, but conditioning and takedown defense allowed his opponents to keep the bouts competitive.
Though Mendes' striking remains a work in progress, he certainly has the ability to give Aldo more problems on the ground than either Hominick or Florian did.
Completely avoiding the stand-up with Aldo is much easier said than done, but Mendes has been able to dictate where all 11 of his professional fights have gone, as he has gone undefeated on his way to the top of the featherweight division. Aldo will be Mendes' toughest test to date, but with Faber in his corner, Mendes has the advantage of being able to train with a teammate who has spent five rounds inside the cage with the champion.
Prior to the UFC-WEC merger, Aldo appeared unbeatable. However, if Mendes can put together a game plan combining the insight of Faber with successful techniques used by Hominick and Florian against Aldo, the UFC could be crowning a new featherweight champion this Saturday night.
Mendes defeats Aldo by unanimous decision.