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Tag: Chad Mendes

The UFC Featherweight Ladder: Ranking the Division’s Worthiest Challengers


(Pictured above: Barry “Sarge” Walters, the schizophrenic UFC fan who can often be seen running onstage during weigh-ins. / Photo via Getty)

By Alex Giardini

Unlike some weight-classes we won’t mention, the UFC featherweight division is currently loaded with dangerous contenders, any of whom could be a serious title threat in the future. At UFC 163 (August 3rd, Rio de Janeiro), divisional ruler Jose Aldo defends his belt against fan-favorite “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, and as long as an immediate rematch isn’t booked, there will be a feeding frenzy of 145-pounders trying to make their case as the true #1 contender. So who’s worthiest of the next title shot? Let’s put aside the phony UFC rankings and business-driven matchmaking and break down where each featherweight contender really stands in the pecking order.

Ricardo Lamas

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lamas is the obvious frontrunner to be next in line but why is he being overlooked? The fact that Jung got the title shot over Lamas after their UFC 162 bout was canceled raised a few eyebrows in itself. Lamas, who hasn’t lost in over a year and a half, has blazed through his opposition in the UFC including men on this very list, and despite demolishing a highly-regarded prospect in Erik Koch back in January, his immediate future is unknown. Lamas has a devastating striking game — including some flashy and dangerous kicks — which gives him the ability to end a fight at any moment. He also has a quality wrestling pedigree, alongside a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, and his ground and pound is murderous; woe to anyone in the division who finds himself on the bottom of Lamas’s elbows and power strikes.

It’s relatively strange that Lamas was skipped in line for a title shot but maybe the UFC feels Aldo’s competition should come with a familiar face. Jung is no slouch, finishing all three opponents thus far in his UFC career, but Lamas also has an equally impressive track record in the company – undefeated in four bouts with previous stoppages over Cub Swanson, Matt Grice. The aforementioned brutalizing of Erik Koch was a major reason to include him in the mix, as Koch was a highly-touted prospect who was already paving his way to a title shot before he met “The Bully.” With Conor McGregor and Cub Swanson angling for fights with the Chicago-born fighter, his next move is up in the air, but maybe he’ll remain quiet until August 3rd to see how everything pans out.

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Rumor: Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida Being Rebooked, Possibly for UFC 164


(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.

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After Winning Fifth-Straight Fight at UFC 158, Darren Elkins Makes Quick Turnaround to Face Chad Mendes at UFC on FOX 7


(“…and verily, Carvalho did’st invoke the accursed ‘What the fucketh is thy problem, good sir?‘ rule, but forsooth, it was all for naught.” / Photo via Getty Images)

When Clay Guida dropped out of UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez due to injury last week, it looked like Chad Mendes might be forced to beat up another outmatched palooka just to stay busy at the April 20th event in San Jose. (Such is his life — just body-shottin’ dudes who don’t deserve to be there, and collecting paychecks. It’s sad, really.) But Mendes’s latest replacement opponent could be an even tougher test than Guida was.

MMAJunkie reports that Darren Elkins — who just scored a first-round TKO over Antonio Carvalho during the UFC 158 prelims over the weekend — has gotten the call to step in against Mendes at UFC on FOX 7. Elkins’s latest victory increased his current win streak to 5-0 since dropping to featherweight in 2011, including previous wins over tough competitors like Diego Brandao and Michihiro Omigawa. If his name still isn’t ringing a bell, it’s probably because every single one of Elkins’s UFC fights have been relegated to the prelims; when somebody says that a fighter has “quietly amassed an impressive win streak,” this is exactly the kind of thing they’re talking about.

Unfortunately, Elkins’s match against Mendes likely won’t make the UFC on FOX 7 main card either — but a dominant win over a former title contender could change his fortunes significantly. Making that happen on a five-week layoff is easier said than done, of course. Your predictions?

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For the Third Time in a Row, Chad Mendes Has Lost His Original Opponent Due to Injury [CURSED]


(Now that I’ve successfully taken out Guida via bear pit, I’m just a first round knockout over a late-replacement UFC newbie away from another 40k. BOOM BABY!) 

Chad Mendes, reader of the Necronomicon, personification of the injury curse of 2012, has just lost his third straight opponent to injury in the past few months. Since KOing Cody McKenzie with a body shot back at UFC 148, Mendes has been a cursed man. First, he was expected to face Hacran Dias at UFC on FX 6, until Dias hurt his shoulder and withdrew just days out from the event. Dias was replaced by UFC noob Yaotzin Meza, who was thrashed by Mendes inside of two minutes. Then, Mendes was set to fight Manny Gamburyan at UFC 157, until Manny blew off his thumb with a firecracker or some shit and the bout was cancelled altogether.

Then, Mendes was booked against Clay Guida in “The Carpenter’s” sophomore featherweight appearance at UFC on FOX 7, which goes down on April 20th. But wouldn’t you know it, the usually uninjurable (?) Guida has done injured hisself too (via Sherdog):

Chad Mendes is once again without an opponent, as Clay Guida has suffered an undisclosed injury and will be unable to compete at UFC on Fox 7.

Sherdog.com recently confirmed the development with sources close to the situation, who verified that Mendes is still expected to compete at the April 20 event from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., though the search for a new opponent has apparently not gone well.

A perennial top contender with recently developed KO power, it’s no shock that Mendes is strapped for opponents in the featherweight division, especially on short notice. Who would you like to see Mendes fight in Guida’s absence? Personally, I gotta go with Don Zimmer, who has been itching for a fight ever since Pedro Martinez backed out of the rematch.

-J. Jones

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Chad Mendes to Face Clay Guida at UFC on FOX 7, Following Manny Gamburyan Fight Cancellation


(If only he used his moustache powers for good. Photo via Tracy Lee/Yahoo!)

With his UFC 157 appearance up in smoke due to an injury withdrawal by Manny Gamburyan, featherweight contender Chad Mendes has been officially removed from the February 23rd card, and was just given a new match at UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez (April 20th, San Jose). Mendes, who is coming off back-to-back knockout victories in what could charitably be called “rebound fights,” will face Clay Guida, who is coming off a questionable split-decision victory in his featherweight debut against Hatsu Hioki, which followed his Worst Fight of the Year runner-up against Gray Maynard.

For Mendes, the matchup represents a return to tough competition that’s long overdue. For Clay, it’s another opportunity to bounce around the Octagon between takedowns and long stretches of top-control. (I’m just saying, remember the beast-version of Clay Guida who put in legendary battles against Roger Huerta and Diego Sanchez? Well, he got tired of losing fights and changed his strategy a bit. It is what it is.)

In addition to the headlining lightweight title fight, UFC on FOX 7 will feature Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir, Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson, and Dan Hardy vs. Matt Brown.

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Manny Gamburyan Suffers Thumb and Elbow Injuries, Forced Out of UFC 157 Fight Against Chad Mendes [UPDATED]


(Man, could you imagine if he was like four feet closer to his opponent when he threw that punch? Devastating. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

When you think about it, it is really remarkable how successful and durable UFC featherweight Manny Gamburyan has been in his MMA career considering how many serious and ill-timed injuries he’s sustained. The Armenian judoka lost TUF 5 after suddenly injuring his shoulder during the finals against Nate Diaz and has been sidelined multiple times since then.

Well it happened again, just two weeks before another crucial fight for him. SI‘s Melissa Segura first reported via twitter earlier today that Gamburyan has pulled out of his scheduled UFC 157 fight against fellow top featherweight contender Chad Mendes, due to a broken thumb and fractured elbow. Gamburyan later confirmed the report to MMAJunkie.

I just want to apologize to the fans and (UFC President) Dana White and the UFC. I’ve been training really hard. We’ll fight down the road for sure. My team was the main event, and we’ve been training together for many years, and I really wanted to be part of it too,” Gamburyan said, referring to his teammate Ronda Rousey, who will be fighting Liz Carmouche in the UFC 157 main event.

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Chad Mendes to Be Given Another Easy Paycheck at UFC 157


(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.

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Battery Charge Against Chad Mendes Dropped; ‘Money’ Gets Off With Fine

The battery charge against UFC featherweight Chad Mendes was dropped by a judge yesterday. Mendes had been charged with sucker-punching a bar patron then fleeing the scene during a July 29th brawl at the Lacey Inn Bar in Hanford, California. Mendes faced up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. Instead, he plead no contest to a lesser count of public disturbance and has paid a fine and avoids jail time.

“I have said from the beginning that the ridiculous allegations published by the media were either false or incredibly sensationalized,” Mendes said in a statement. “(Monday’s) outcome proves it.”

There clearly was not enough evidence to support the charges against Mendes and he can now look towards his December bout against Hacran Dias on the UFC on FX 6 card.

- Elias Cepeda

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UFC Booking Roundup: Poirier, Papazian & Mendes Have Future Opponents

With the ratings of this season of The Ultimate Fighter in a tailspin, the UFC has quickly been announcing matchups for the season finale. Unlike previous seasons, it looks as though this season’s finale won’t feature many fights between the not-quite-worthy competitors from the show, as a total of eight fights between current UFC fighters have been announced for the finale. Which is good, because most of you reading this don’t know or care about anyone from this season of TUF 16 in the first place.

The two most recent fights booked for the TUF 16 Finale are a featherweight showdown between Jonathan Brookins and Dustin Poirier and a flyweight bout between Tim Elliott and Jared Papazian.

After winning five straight fights under the Zuffa banner, Dustin Poirier would suffer a fourth round D’arce choke loss to Chan Sung Jung at UFC on FUEL 2. Despite the loss, Poirier put on a Fight of the Night – and arguably Fight of the Year – worthy performance, proving that he’s still a contender in the featherweight division despite the loss to Jung. Meanwhile, things cannot possibly be going more differently for Jonathan Brookins. After defeating Michael Johnson by unanimous decision to win The Ultimate Fighter Season Twelve, Brookins would drop a unanimous decision to Erik Koch, knock out Vagner Rocha and most recently get choked out by Charles Oliveira at June’s TUF 15 finale.

Check after the jump for the full TUF 16 Finale fight card, as well as Chad Mendes’ next opponent.

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Chad Mendes Being Charged with Battery for Involvement in July Bar Fight


Props: Twitter.com/chadmendes

By George Shunick

When Chad Mendes was first accused of sucker punching a patron at a California bar during a brawl and fleeing from the cops, he dismissed the accuracy of the charges against him and stated he would cooperate fully with the investigation. In retrospect, that turned out to be a bad idea. Mendes was charged with battery yesterday, facing up to a $2,000 fine and 6 months in jail.

For those of you who missed this the first time, or have the memory span of a goldfish, here’s the official recap of what happened:

“Kings County Sheriff’s deputies say Mendes, a 27-year-old local native, sucker punched a man in the face at the Lacey Inn Bar on July 29. Leaving out the back door, he ran from law enforcement and managed to escape capture. But witnesses at the scene recognized the famous athlete. [Author’s note: people recognized “famous athlete” Chad Mendes!? MMA is finally mainstream!]

Deputies initially stopped at the bar around 1:18 a.m. in response to a call about two people fighting in the parking lot. After they pulled the men apart, about 40 more people decided to join in, turning it into a large brawl.

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