is still the featherweight champion of the UFC
Aldo, fighting back home in Brazil for the first time since signing with Zuffa, defeated Chad Mendes
by first-round knockout at UFC 142
, defending his featherweight title and showing once again that he's among the most lethal strikers in mixed martial arts, in any weight class.
It was a huge left knee to Mendes' face that knocked Mendes flat on his back, and Aldo then pounced with a couple of punches on the ground before referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight at the 4 minute, 59 second mark of the first round -- just one second remained in the round.
"I want to thank the home crowd, all my friends who came out," Aldo said afterward. "I'm so happy fighting at home."
Aldo showed that happiness to be fighting at home by running into the crowd after the fight, where he was mobbed by fans. It could have caused a crowd control problem, as large numbers of fans swarmed around Aldo, but there were no incidents and Aldo eventually made his way back into the Octagon for his post-fight interview.
The story of the fight before that brutal knee was Mendes' inability to take Aldo down: Mendes tried for takedowns and Aldo had little trouble shaking him off. In the final minute of the fight Mendes did grab hold of Aldo and clinch with him against the fence, and at one point Aldo had to hold the fence to prevent from being taken down. But Aldo bided his time against the fence, saw that opening, and finished things with that knee.
The win improves Aldo's professional MMA
record to 21-1, while Mendes lost for the first time in his career and drops to 11-1.
"Jose's a great champion. He's a tough dude. That's the best I've felt for any fight, I was very prepared, and he got me," Mendes said afterward. "He was the better man."
For Mendes, there's no shame in losing to Aldo. Aldo is among the greatest fighters in the sport.