Undefeated Team Alpha Male fighter Chad Mendes cruised to a unanimous decision victory over submission specialist in a featherweight contest Rani Yahya at UFC 133. Mendes had little trouble with Yahya, spending the whole first round landing leg kicks mixed in with the occasional punch and completely nullifying any takedown attempt Yahya threw his way. The second saw Mendes take Yahya down a couple of times, but he didn't do much with the position either time. The third round was much of the same.
Mendes said after the fight that he hurt his hand in the first round, which led to him changing his gameplan up. Yahya had little to offer against Mendes, with a striking game that consisted of low-percentage kicks and the occasional right hook thrown in. His takedowns were completely ineffective as well. The fight was the first bout on the Spike portion of the broadcast.
What was the high spot of this fight?
I'm not sure there was one. Some might say it was Mendes' front flip guard-pass attempt with four seconds to go in the fight, but I thought it was pretty lame to be honest.
Where do these guys go from here?
Mendes would appear to have solidified his grasp on the next available title shot in the UFC featherweight division. If his hand doesn't keep him out for an extended period of time, he will likely face the winner of the UFC 136 title fight between champion Jose Aldo and challenger Kenny Florian. Despite a less-than-exciting performance, the division is pretty shallow and he's the best challenger available right now.
Yahya is in a tough spot. He is now 1-3 in his last four fights in under the Zuffa banner (two of those fights took place in the WEC) and didn't look competitive at all against Mendes. If they're strictly judging his UFC record when it comes to whether he stays or not, he'll likely get another chance. If not, he could very well be sent packing. He also needs to consider if he's a better fighter at 135 or 145.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Never. This fight was not very entertaining at all, unless you like brutal takedown attempts and one man throwing another around like a ragdoll for 15 minutes.
More BE coverage of UFC 133 in the full entry.