Chad Mendes risked his featherweight title shot at UFC 133 by choosing to fight Rani Yahya instead of sitting on the sidelines and waiting for the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian.
Mendes defeated Yahya, but it looks like his title shot may unfortunately be delayed once again.
Mendes injured his right hand at the beginning of the second round. Then, after the bout, Mendes commented that he heard a pop but wasn’t sure if it was broken. Fans’ fears grew when Dana White said after the event, “I think he broke his hand. I saw him after the fight, and his hand was all swollen up. He’s getting X-rays on it. He needs to find out what’s going on with it.”
Despite not finishing an over-matched Yahya, Mendes made things look easy on Saturday night by winning every round and cruising to a unanimous decision. While it wasn’t the most exciting fight of the night, the UFC President didn’t seem to mind Mendes’ lack of finishing ability. “It’s tough when you’re in that position and people are saying ‘He should be next,’ and you don’t go in there and finish,” said White. “It’s tough. There’s no doubt he won the fight. I say this all the time. It’s like if Tiger Woods goes out there and wins but doesn’t crush everyone, and they’re like, ‘Ehhh, is he the best in the world?’ Well, he still won.”
“Money” Mendes also wasn’t concerned with his inability to put away the Brazilian, saying, “Of course we all look for a finish, but overall I am happy with the fight, and I felt good. He’s a tough guy, and I knew he would be strong.”
White remained mum on the future of Mendes and whether or not he’ll get the next title shot as it could depend on the severity of Mendes’ hand injury.
*PHOTO CREDIT – UFC*