Heading into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 63 bout between Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas, the consensus is that the winner will remain in the featherweight title shot mix. Of course, since both men have lost to the champion Jose Aldo, one would think that there title shot hopes will improve dramatically, if Conor McGregor takes the belt on July 11th.
Now in the case of Mendes, since he’s been defeated by Aldo on two occasions, chances are he has a ways to go before he faces the Brazilian star for a third time. But, while appearing on a recent edition of “The MMA Hour”, the Team Alpha Male fighter relayed the following, while discussing his title shot prospects (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“No, here’s my situation — I feel like I’m sitting pretty no matter what happens,” said Mendes, when asked if he wants McGregor to beat Aldo, since that could mean fighting for the title sooner than later. “I mean, Aldo is the only guy that’s beat me — he’s beat me twice now — and you know it sucks that that’s happened. There’s a lot of guys who don’t get to fight a guy three times after losing to him twice. But, I feel like because that last fight was so close, there’s a lot of fans — and the UFC — that would want to make that happen again. If I beat Ricardo, and Aldo wins, hopefully I get to get back in there and try to avenge those two losses. And if for whatever reason Conor wins, then I get to get in there and beat the crap out of him for the belt. I feel like either way, I’m sitting pretty.”
There’s no question that aside from his bouts with Aldo, Mendes has been pretty dominant in his UFC run, but if he beats Lamas, and McGregor takes the title, it’s not hard to imagine the UFC going with that fight. Mendes and McGregor have already battled verbally, and many observers wonder how “Notorious” would do against a top tier wrestler.
Mendes, however, has said he believes Aldo’s reign will continue at UFC 189, and “Money” repeated that sentiment in the aforementioned interview.
It’s also worth noting that Lamas has impressed and then some, since his decision loss to Aldo last February. Since the defeat the ridiculously, well rounded fighter has decisioned Hacran Dias, and then in November, Lamas tapped Dennis Bermudez. The latter had won seven in a row prior to facing “The Bully”.
UFC FN 63 will take place in Fairfax, Virginia.