With less than two weeks until fight time, UFC officials couldn’t find a high caliber opponent that was ready to step in for an injured Manny Gamburyan to fight Mendes at UFC 157.
Instead of putting Mendes in the Octagon with someone that wasn’t quite ready for such a fight, he’ll instead have a couple more months to prepare. Mendes is now slated to face Clay Guida at UFC on Fox 7 on April 20 in San Jose, Calif.
Mendes’ manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc., confirmed the bout to MMAWeekly.com early Tuesday morning, following a report by USA Today citing UFC president Dana White.
Guida (30-13) recently made his entry into the UFC featherweight division with a split decision victory over Hatsu Hioki at the January UFC on Fox 6 fight card in Chicago.
Mendes (13-1) is widely still considered one of the top contenders in the division with his sole loss being to current champion Jose Aldo. A win over Mendes would prove Guida’s mettle in the division.
Guida, likewise, would be a feather in Mendes’ cap as well.
Since losing to Aldo at UFC 142 early in 2012, Mendes has had a laser focus on mowing down whoever the UFC puts in front of him, in hopes of getting back into the Octagon for another shot at the champion.
He has knocked out Cody McKenzie and Yaotzin Meza in back-to-back bouts, but Guida represents a much higher caliber of opposition. A victory over him would certainly help Mendes keep his name in the mix for the belt.
The UFC on Fox 7 fight card is top heavy with UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson putting his belt on the line against Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez in the headlining bout and Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament champion Daniel Cormier squaring off with former UFC champion Frank Mir in the co-main event.
Mendes vs. Guida won’t likely make the cut for the main card on Fox, but is a likely contender to headline the preliminary fight card on FX.
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