Chad Mendes (10-0, 1-0 UFC) will be looking to secure a title shot if he can get through submission ace Rani Yayha (16-6, 1-0 UFC). This featherweight UFC 133 fight will be the opening fight of the televised portion of the card, which will be shown on Spike TV. The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Mendes: 26 years old | 5'6" | 66" reach
Yahya: 26 years old | 5'6" | 68" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Chad "Money" Mendes was a two-time NCAA D1 All-American in college, and made the transition to MMA shortly after school was over by hooking up with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male. After five straight wins on the California regional circuit, Chad was brought into the WEC. He dominted there as well, winning all four fights he had while wearing the blue gloves. After defeating Michihiro Omigawa in his UFC debut at UFC 126, Dana White stated that Mendes would likely face Jose Aldo on this very card. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but Mendes isn't going to wait for a title shot, and ended up with a bout against Yahya instead.
Rani Yahya is a world champion grappler (he won the 65kg division of the ADCC's back in 2007) that has had an up-and-down MMA career so far. After a run in Japan he was brought into the WEC, where a quick win over Mark Hominick earned him an immediate title shot at then-champion Chase Beebe at WEC 30. He dropped a decision, then lost to Kid Yamamoto in Japan not long after. He resurfaced in the WEC about a year later and rattled off three straight wins, before dropping fights to Joseph Benavidez and Takeya Mizugaki. A move to featherweight and a surprise win over Mike Brown in his UFC debut has catapulted him into this matchup with Mendes.
Why should you care?
Chad Mendes was passed over for a title shot and took this fight instead. Mendes hasn't faced a grappling threat like Yahya before, so there is some intrigue here. Not going to lie to you though, this seems pretty one-sided.