(Guida engages the UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson audience in the ancient Native American dance known as the “Iwannanothadrinka.” Photo via Combat Lifestyle.)
We’ve thrown the word “curse” around a lot here at CagePotato in the past year or so (as in “injury curse,” “cursed from birth,” and “curse you Dana for setting this up!”), but featherweight contender Chad Mendes is one of the few fighters who might actually be able to stake a claim to that title. In his past three scheduled fights, all of his original opponents have pulled out due to a last minute injury, leaving Mendes to face off against late replacement opponents on two occasions and cancelling his fight altogether in the third. Then again, any curse that ends in you collecting two quick knockouts and upwards of eighty thousand dollars is a hell of a lot better than the festering boils and dead first born I’ve been stuck with.
Anyway, the last man to pull out of a fight with Mendes was none other than recently-converted featherweight Clay “N-Pray” [*rimshot*] Guida, who was replaced by Darren Elkins just as quickly as Darren Elkins was defeated by Chad Mendes when the two eventually met at UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz. According to Ariel Helwani, the UFC is considering rebooking Mendes vs. Guida for the August 31st-scheduled UFC 164 card, which will also feature the beginning of Brandon Vera’s second attempt to become the UFC’s first two-division champ when he returns to the heavyweight division to face…Ben Rothwell. Baby steps, folks.
Although the booking “isn’t 100% yet,” it’s hard to deny that this fight makes just as much sense as it did previously, if not more. Mendes wiped the floor with Elkins — who was on an impressive five-fight streak of his own — in his last contest, and Guida is on the heels of a featherweight debut victory over the highly-ranked Hatsu Hioki. An impressive victory for either man could put them in a prime position for a shot at Jose Aldo (or in Mendes’ case, another
lesson in humility shot).
Then again, who knows what the fuck the state of the featherweight division will be after Anthony Pettis fights Aldo at UFC 163. We could be left with a new featherweight champion who has no interest remaining at featherweight, the “old” featherweight champion who now has his sights set on fighting the lightweight champion, or a fight that ends in controversy so we can start this whole thing over again. In any case, we’re pretty sure the winner of the Ricardo Lamas/Chan Sung Jung fight will be getting royally screwed over. Again.