"Jose Aldo can't run from me forever," The Team Alpha Male fighter said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "This fight's going to happen and I'm going to take the belt from him."
This isn't the first time Aldo has postponed a fight with Mendes. Aldo also postponed their first fight, which eventually ended up taking place at UFC 142.
So with Aldo pulling out of the bout just four weeks before a scheduled date at Los Angeles' Staples Center - causing a postponement of the fight and the cancellation of UFC 176 - Mendes says it's time for people to see what he calls "the real picture."
"I'm tired of it," Mendes said. "This is something he's been doing for so long. The first time he did the same thing. I ended up taking another fight, I ended up fighting Rani Yahya in the meantime because I didn't want to be on the shelf for a year. I beat Yahya, I got the title shot. As far as injuries and backing out of fights, it's irritating and it pissed me off. It's time everyone sees the real picture here."
In fact, Mendes said, if Aldo can't go in a timely matter - the current timeframe for a rescheduled fight is sometime in October - then Mendes thinks it is time to go the interim title route. UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said as much on FOX Sports 1 Monday night.
"If Aldo can't stay healthy and is too fragile to go through a training camp," Mendes said. "Then I think it is time to step aside and let guys who are able to do that and able to push through all that stuff, to be a champ."
Mendes said he had just finished with a hyperbaric chamber session late last week when he slowly figured out that the fight was off.
"I was sitting in a hyperbaric chamber, and you can't bring a phone in there, so the phone was sitting in the office, and when I got out, I had like two million messages," Mendes said. "My phone was just blowing up, everyone was calling me, I was like what the hell is going on? Everyone's like I"m sorry to hear it, sorry about the fight. I was like ‘someone tell me what the hell is going on.' So I jumped on twitter, found out the fight is off."
That's when the frustration with the situation set in.
"Its so much effort, so much hard work, and now its all gone," Mendes said. "Basically its for nothing. It's just so frustrating, the belt is right there, the game plan I'm working on, I'm basically studying for a big test and I feel like I'm so prepared, and then I don't even get to take the test. It's so frustrating man. ... I'm working out 2-3 times a day to maintain my camp and so now back it off to about one a day, maybe skip a day here and there, to let my body heal back up."
If the fight is postponed until October, an obvious target for the fight would be a XX pay-per-view date in Brazil. But Mendes, who was looking at something of a home-court advantage with UFC 176 in California, bristles at the idea of returning to Aldo's territory.
"I went there the first time, he has to come here to fight me this time," said Mendes, who cited, among other reasons, the cost of flying teammates and family to another continent. "That's something I said from day one. That was something I was pushing for from the August card, I'm standing firm with it. I do not want to fight in Brazil. I think its fair that he has to come here. That's definitely something I'll keep pushing for."
In the meantime, the apparent rift at Team Alpha Male between the gym's founder, Urijah Faber, and former-and-sometimes-still striking coach Duane "Bang" Ludwig is in the process of being worked out. Mendes plans on being cornered by Ludwig, who was also in the corner of T.J. Dillashaw when Dillashaw defeated Renan Barao for the bantamweight title at UFC 173.
"We had a big team meeting today just to figure everything out," Mendes said. "This is basically how I look at it. Him and Urijah bump heads for whatever the reason is. That's between those two. This is a team and we all work together and we're all like brothers. If he wants to have a different trainer, he can have a different trainer, that's no problem. I like working with Bang, T.J. likes working with Bang, a lot of the guys do. There's no denying it. The guy is a genius at what he does. I feel comfortable when I'm using him. It makes it tough because I don't want to feel like I'm picking sides, as far as Urijah and Duane."
However, Mendes said Faber is not getting in the way of letting him work with Ludwig.
"Urijah is good," Mendes said. "He sat me down and said if this is what you feel like you need to win the title, go for it. I'm not stopping you. He's very understanding, and at the same time I have to have the respect and understanding, he started this thing, he's the one who started this gym and built the whole Team Alpha Male from the bottom up. Duane has to have the respect there as well."