Yesterday, news of Manny Gamburyan's withdrawal from UFC 157 came out. And this left Chad Mendes (13-1) in the lurch once again. For the second straight fight, the Team Alpha Male member's preparation was thrown for a loop due to an opponent pulling out not long before the fight. Without an opponent, Mendes turned to twitter in an attempt to call out one of the top contenders in the featherweight division - Ricardo Lamas. But Lamas had a pretty interesting response to the challenge - he's already booked:
@chadmendes I already accepted a fight in may, waiting to announce it, but I'm sure our paths will cross.— Ricardo Lamas (@RicardoLamasMMA) February 9, 2013
So it appears that the UFC wasted no time giving Lamas a fight after Anthony Pettis scooped the UFC featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo. While Mendes is still without an opponent, perhaps an even more interesting question is who will Lamas (13-2) face in May? The most obvious answer would be Chan Sung Jung. He's due to return from injury around then, and they are two of the top contenders in 145-pound decision. The only other real possibility to me would be Dennis Siver, but that isn't as interesting as a Lamas/Zombie fight.
We'll have to wait and see how it plays out. For now though, the UFC needs to find Mendes a credible opponent ASAP.