We here at Caged Insider were one of the first to suggest that Darren Elkins should step in to face Chad Mendes at UFC on Fox 7, which you can read here. It only seemed logical since Elkins finished his bout at UFC 158 in about three minutes, and Dana White said the surging featherweight would face a top ten opponent in his next bout. Well, only Jose Aldo sits higher than Chad Mendes in the UFC 145-pound rankings, and was in need of an opponent after Clay Guida had to drop out of their fight due to an injury.
For Mendes, this is the third opponent he had drop out in less than a year. In fact, he did not compete at last month’s UFC 157 because when Manny Gamburyan fell out due to injury the UFC could not find a replacement. Mendes has been trying to get back to title contention after he was knocked out by a knee in the very last second of the first round against Aldo. Since that time, he has secured himself two first round TKO’s over Yaotzin Meza and Cody Mckenzie.
Elkins earned his fifth straight win at featherweight this past weekend against Antonio Carvalho. Many people believed that it was a bad stoppage, as Carvalho was getting his bearings back right as he ref stopped it. Elkins’ five-fight streak also includes wins over TUF winner Diego Brandao, Michihiro Omigawa and Steven Siler. If he can add Mendes to that record, he will have to be close to first in line for a title shot.