Chad Mendes (9-0, 0-0 UFC) will make his UFC debut when he takes on Michihiro Omigawa (12-8-1, 0-2 UFC), who returns to the organization after a three-year sojourn back to Japan. The featherweight bout will open the Spike TV portion of the telecast. Mendes looks to remain perfect after a 9-0 star to his UFC career, while Omigawa looks to maintain the momentum he built after dropping down to featherweight in the summer of 2008.
How do these guys stack up?
Mendes: 25 years old, 5'6", 66" reach
Omigawa: 35 years old, 5'6", 66" reach
What have they done recently?
Mendes: W - Vazquez (UD), W - Swanson (UD), W - Morrison (SUB)
Omigawa: W - Escovedo (SUB), W - Y.S. Jung (SUB), W - M. Miller (UD)
How did these guys get here?
Mendes trains out of Urijah Faber's Alpha Male camp and started his career in the PFC/Tachi Palace shows in Lemoore, California, where he started his career 5-0. He fought four times in 2010 after making his WEC debut in March, and he defeated Javier Vazquest in his last fight in November. Mendes is currently ranked as the number twelve featherweight in the MMA Consensus Rankings.
Omigawa is a former member of the Japanese national judo team, and he made his MMA debut as a lightweight in 2005. After a shaky 4-4 start, Omigawa signed with the UFC, losing to Matt Wiman and Thiago Tavares. He returned to Japan and moved down to featherweight. After dropping a decision to Chan Sung Jung and drawing with Shintaro Ishiwatari, Omigawa capped off an 8-1 run with a submission victory over Cole Escovedo at Dream 16. Omigawa is currently ranked as the number four featherweight in the MMA Consensus Rankings.
Why should you care?
This is a big, big fight at 145 pounds. With Mark Hominick fighting Jose Aldo in April, the winner of this fight could find himself next in line to challenge for the title. At 35, Omigawa may not have much time left as a top featherweight, and beating Mendes may be his last chance to fight for a title.