The former UFC featherweight title challenger took to Twitter almost immediately after Gamburyan confirmed he was out, asking for a No. 1 contender bout with the surging Ricardo Lamas.
So manny's out. How bout we find out who the real number one contender is@ricardolamasmma— chad mendes (@chadmendes) February 9, 2013
Lamas has been a man on a mission since dropping down to featherweight, winning four in a row (including three finishes) and defeating quality opposition in Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch.
Making things even more interesting, "The Bully" responded early this morning, stating that he has already accepted a fight for May.
@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
Let the speculation begin on whom Lamas will fight, but it seems safe to say fellow contender "The Korean Zombie" Chan-Sung Jung is a top candidate for the matchup.
Prior to recovering from shoulder surgery, Jung had won three in a row (all finishes) over the likes of Leonard Garcia, Mark Hominick and Dustin Poirier.
The latest development seems to indicate that Mendes will be removed from the UFC 157 card that's set for Feb. 23, but don't rule out someone like Nik Lentz, Clay Guida or a newly signed fighter to jump at the opportunity to climb the ranks at 145 pounds.
Regardless, the featherweight title picture is going to be on hold for a little while, as champion Jose Aldo is booked to face former WEC lightweight title holder Anthony Pettis on Aug. 3.