UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo's next opponent has been announced, as the longtime featherweight champion will face off with Chad Mendes in August. The Los Angeles Times' Lance Pugmire reported the news on Sunday.
The fight will take place on August 2, 2014 at UFC 176 in Los Angeles. The event marks the UFC's return to the Staples Center, where it last visited in 2012 with UFC on Fox 4 headlined by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Brandon Vera.
The Aldo-Mendes bout will almost certainly function as the main event.
Aldo has been the top 145-pound fighter in MMA for years now, first claiming the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting) title in 2009 when he knocked out Mike Brown. He would reign atop the promotion until it was absorbed by the UFC, at which point he was declared the inaugural UFC featherweight champion.
He has defended the belt six times, most recently earning a convincing decision at the expense of Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169.
One of those title defenses came at the expense of Mendes, whom Aldo knocked out with a devastating knee at UFC 142. Since then, the Californian has racked up five straight wins, with four of those coming via brutal knockout.
Mendes is currently ranked as the top featherweight in the UFC beside Aldo, an honor which he has held for years.
The bout may or may not wind up being Aldo's final defense of the UFC's featherweight strap. Earlier this year, Aldo was rumored to be close to a lightweight title fight with Anthony Pettis. A combination of a knee injury and a scary contract dispute between the UFC and Gilbert Melendez resulted in the lightweight belt being tied up through the end of 2014.
This bout likely sets up Aldo to continue reigning atop the division for at least another 12 months.
Stick with Bleacher Report for more details on UFC 176 as they become available.
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