UFC 148: 5 Fights for Chad Mendes to Take Next

Matthew Ryder@@matthewjryderFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2012

UFC 148: 5 Fights for Chad Mendes to Take Next

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    Chad Mendes is the No. 2 featherweight in the world. Unfortunately, he suffered a convincing setback to the champion Jose Aldo in January, and the only guy close to him is Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran.

    Still, a fighter needs fights, and Mendes is no different. Matchmaking for him at this point is a challenge, but some possible options that are out there include:

Mark Hominick

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    A risky proposition from Hominick’s perspective, the Canadian has lost three straight and a fight with Mendes could easily result in a pink slip.

    That said, he’s also the only man to ever really test Aldo (particularly in the UFC), and despite his slide he’s still one of the best guys on the roster at 145 lbs. He’s got solid takedown defense and may be the best technical striker at the weight, if not at any weight.

    Definitely worth considering if you’re Joe Silva.

Chan Sung Jung

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    The lovable Korean Zombie is pretty close to a title shot, based on his fan-friendly style and sudden surge in the UFC. Many think that he’ll get a shot in the fall; however, if he doesn’t it would be an interesting matchup to make.

    The fight would test Mendes against a relentless warrior who is nearly unstoppable, while it would test the Zombie against a rugged wrestler with an expert top game and great positional control.

    They have spent time training together, though, which could be a hurdle. If not, it’s bound to be a pretty good tilt.

Mike Thomas Brown

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    The grizzled veteran and former WEC featherweight champion has decided against retirement and re-upped with the UFC for five more fights. Given his exciting fights with Mendes' teammate Urijah Faber in the past, this one could prove to be a great scrap.

    Brown holds a similar skill set to the Alpha Male product, and has had success in the past against guys who have come from that gym. He may be a little older and a little slower than he was then, but he’s still a cagey veteran who would test Mendes’ mettle.

    This is one that makes a lot of sense.

Cub Swanson

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    Back in their WEC days, Swanson and Mendes met to the tune of a decision win for the man they call Money. Now, with a couple of wins in a row and a realistic shot at being in the mix for a title run, an improved Swanson might be able to use a win over Mendes to catapult himself over some middling names at 145

    Rematches are a slippery slope in general, and often they’re borne more of complaining and lobbying than of necessity, but this one fits in terms of divisional hierarchy and what people want to see. Let these guys do it again and see if things are different in the UFC than they were in WEC.

Ricardo Lamas

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    Coming off the biggest win of his career over massive favourite Hatsu Hioki, Lamas needs a big test. Many thought Hioki was in line for a title shot with a win, and Lamas upset that apple cart big time. There’s nowhere to go for him but up, up meaning “up to fighting the second-best guy in the world."

    Mendes is undeniably tough and offers a totally different challenge as compared to that of Hioki (or Aldo for that matter). If Lamas can topple him, he’d rightfully move ahead of everyone else in the mix at 145 for a shot at gold.

    This, more than any fight available for Chad Mendes, is the one that makes the most sense.