When undefeated featherweight Chad Mendes recently learned his scheduled shot at 145-pound champion Jose Aldo would be postponed due to the Brazilian’s health-related status he was given the option of waiting for Aldo to recover or risk his contendership status by taking another fight in the interim. He chose the latter.
According to the UFC, Mendes will round out an already-packed UFC 133 card by taking on talented tap-out artist Rani Yahya at the August 6 event while Aldo heals in anticipation of a title-defense this fall.
Team Alpha Male’s Mendes’ decision to remain active rather than prolong his absence from the Octagon any longer could prove to be a fatal mistake where his hopes of procuring gold in 2011 are concerned, as Yahya should represent the best BJJer the 26-year old has faced thus far in his career and possibly the toughest overall test. Fourteen of Yahya’s sixteen victories have been the result of submission-based success. Among the names in his “W” column are Eddie Wineland, Yoshishiro Maeda, and Mark Hominick, as well as former champ Mike Brown who he outpointed this past January at UFC Fight for the Troops 2.
However, Mendes has shown ever indication of being up to the challenge Yahya provides based on his ten total performances including consecutive wins over Eric Koch, Anthony Morrison, Cub Swanson, Javier Vasquez, and most recently Michihiro Omigawa.
The UFC’s forthcoming foray into Philly boasts an impressive thirteen-fight line-up including a trio of main card clashes featuring former champs such as Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Rich Franklin, and Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshishiro Akiyama.
PHOTO CREDIT – ZUFFA