Chad Mendes will meet Rani Yahya at UFC 133. Photo by Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
The UFC confirmed Tuesday that No. 1 featherweight contender Chad Mendes will not wait for Jose Aldo and instead pass on his title shot as he'll face another Brazilian — Rani Yahya — at UFC 133 on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia.
Mendes said he wanted an immediate fight after Aldo's camp said the champion would not be able to fight again until September. Instead of waiting for the fight, Mendes will instead get Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Yahya, who was scheduled to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 131 but had to pull out due to injury.
Mendes hasn't fought since February when he beat Michihiro Omigawa by unanimous decision at UFC 126. Yahya has been inactive since January when he beat Mike Brown by decision at UFC Fight for the Troops 2.
Jonathan Snowden over at SB Nation MMA thinks Mendes is passing up the title shot because of money:
It's unconscionable to pay a title contender like Mendes $19,000 to fight. Not only does it necessitate tough decisions like this, it also creates an unbalanced playing field. With that kind of money backing him, Mendes can barely afford a world class training camp and can forget about maintaining a reasonable standard of living. Chad Mendes, the top contender to the featherweight crown, is giving up on a chance to win the championship of the world - likely because of money issues.
Live, Aug. 6 on pay-per-view from Philadelphia: