As many fans may know, Jose Aldo enlisted the help of one of the premier wrestlers in the lightweight division for his upcoming fight with Chad Mendes this Saturday night at UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes. However, the story behind how their relationship developed and how progress has gone at Nova Uniao are a bit more mysterious.
With Mendes providing a very strong challenge to his reign as featherweight champ Aldo knew improving his takedown defense was important. As such, he brought Gray Maynard down to train with him recently. “The Bully” is a former standout at Michigan State University and nearly claimed the UFC lightweight title from Frankie Edgar on more than one occasion.
“We met a few times at UFC events, and from there we started a friendship,” said Aldo in a video documenting his time with Maynard. “It’s great to have such a talented guy come over. And thank God now was a good time for him.”
Mendes is a member of Team Alpha Male out of California, training with the likes of Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez. He is a NCAA runner-up while competing at Cal Poly. His bout against Aldo will serve as the main event for the UFC’s return to Brazil, as the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro will play host to the card. Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson tangle in the co-main event.
Check out the video of Aldo-Maynard below: