(Damn, Brittney, where’d you get those vintage Brawlin’ Buddies?)
It’s a good time to be Chad Mendes, Nation. Not only has he been all but cleared of the battery charges he was facing following a massive bar brawl in October, but the UFC apparently feels so bad for sacrificing his undefeated virginity to Jose Aldo at UFC 142 that they’ve thrown him three straight gimme fights against dudes who would be lucky to wash his jockstrap at Team Alpha Male.
First he got called out by Cody McKenzie, which somewhat justified their insane pairing at UFC 148 (which ended in just over 30 seconds, by the way). And last weekend, Mendes dispatched promotional newcomer Yaotzin Meza in just under two minutes at UFC on FX 6. That’s two fights at 36K a piece with a total fight time of under half a round. No wonder he calls himself “Money,” the dude’s somehow become the most efficient worker in the UFC. Think about that for a second, Potato Nation, then take a moment to wonder aloud why Mendes has been paired against TUF 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan at UFC 157.
While both of these men have had the privilege of getting their asses handed to them on a silver platter by Jose Aldo, claiming that these two are within earshot of one another in the featherweight division is ludicrous. Gamburyan just broke a three fight losing streak with a decision win over Michihiro Omigawa — a fighter with a 1-6 octagon record who was released from the UFC immediately after the fight – at UFC on FOX 4. The only logic we can see behind this matchup is that the UFC must believe Mendes is destined for another title shot down the road and they might as well help him add another clip to his somewhat vacant highlight reel in the mean time. Otherwise, what in the hell are they doing booking a top 5 featherweight against these guys?
Also on tap for UFC 157 is a matchup between fellow featherweights Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice. Bermudez has notched up two straight victories in the octagon since falling short of the TUF 14 featherweight plaque thanks to a last second Diego Brandao armbar. On the heels of a first round submission over Tommy Hayden at UFC 150, Bermudez should have little trouble dispatching Grice, who recently picked up just his second UFC win in six contests by decisioning the similarly struggling Leonard Garcia at UFC on FX 3 in June.
UFC 157 goes down from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 23rd.
Who do you like for these, Potato Nation? That was a rhetorical question.