UFC 133 is the return of the UFC to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. A card that was suppose to feature Jon Jones and then Jose Aldo, has had to make do with what it has because of injuries.
So now Rashad Evans gave up his shot at a title to face Phil Davis, and featherweight Chad Mendes, instead of waiting, is putting his shot on the line to fight Rani Yahya.
Even though Mendes was originally scheduled to be the main event in Philadelphia, the UFC has put his bout with Yahya on the undercard of UFC 133.
Just to get this straight, Mendes manned up and instead of waiting is fighting and risking his title shot. Now because of the bout not featuring Aldo, Mendes is bumped down to the undercard.
If you don't remember Mendes' last bout with Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 126, I challenge you to find a video of it and tell me you're not impressed with Mendes.
After seeing how Aldo was in the fifth round against Mark Hominick, whose wrestling is not the same as Mendes, Mendes seems like a good bet to give Aldo a run for his money. Mendes has the wrestling and his striking is improving with every fight.
But here's the thing, Mendes is on the undercard when Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara is on the main card. Sakara vs. Rivera is a bout with both fighters coming off of losses and neither fighter being ranked inside the top 10 of their respective weight division.
Mendes vs. Yahya features two fighters in the top 13 of their division with Mendes being the No. 3 ranked featherweight, and No. 1 contender, and Yahya being a borderline top-13 fighter coming off of a victory over former WEC featherweight champion. Mike Thomas Brown.
The battle between Mendes and Yahya will be a ground battle and a very interesting one at that. Unless Mendes decides to keep it standing and use that ever improving striking game to pick apart Yahya.
The clear thing here is that Mendes should be rewarded with a main card bout for manning up and being a true warrior to fight instead of waiting. Mendes is a great up-and-coming fighter and deserves to be on the main card. Especially when he has a title shot on the line and you're trying to get these smaller divisions more exposure.