In light of Jose Aldo’s withdrawal from a proposed title tilt, slated challenger Chad Mendes will collide with dangerous submission specialist Rani Yahya at UFC 133.
Mendes’ decision to remain active and avoid sitting on the shelf to await his title shot is wise for a number of reasons: he’ll remain fluid and avoid ring rust, he’ll gain more (much needed) experience, and he’ll keep UFC head honcho Dana White extremely happy.
White’s expressed displeasure in the past with many challengers who opt to avoid fighting in favor of awaiting promised title shots; Chad Mendes was paying attention.
Mendes brings an undefeated record of 10-0 to the cage, having last fought at UFC 126, where he battered durable veteran Michihiro Omigawa over the course of three rounds.
Rani Yahya boasts a professional record of 16-6. After dropping two consecutive fights (to Joseph Benavidez and Takeya Mizugaki), Yahya rebounded at UFC: Fight For the Troops 2 where he earned a unanimous decision victory over former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown.