Chad Mendes has the worst luck with injuries, because this is the third time in less than a year he has had opponents pull out of fights. First, Hacran Dias pulled out of his fight with Mendes at UFC on FX 6 days before the event, but Yaotzin Meza jumped into the fight and was knocked out in the first round. His next fight was lined up for UFC 157 against Ronda Rousey’s training partner Manny Gamburyan, and even though the UFC had a few weeks to replace Gamburyan, there was no suitable opponent found. Now they have a little over a month to find an opponent for Mendes, but the question remains who will step up.
It seems featherweight fighters would be clamoring to face Mendes since he is currently ranked number one in the featherweight division per the UFC rankings. One possible opponent would be Dias, because as stated before he was supposed to face Mendes already. He has not fought or been lined up for a bout since then, and it would seem logical to make the match since Dias has called for it.
While it is a long shot, Cub Swanson facing off with Mendes is a better match-up. Swanson has been on a great ride as of late, but his last three losses are to Jose Aldo, Mendes, and Ricardo Lamas. With Lamas set to face Chan Sung Jung and Aldo still the champion, a chance at redemption against Mendes would show that Swanson deserves a title shot. As Dana White says, you have to take the fight when it is offered to you, and a match between Swanson and Mendes could be called a number one contender’s match.