MMA: Rani Yahya
Instead, the Team Alpha Male product will meet another Brazilian in submission specialist Rani Yahya, the promotion announced Tuesday morning.
Mendes was originally rumored to receive his featherweight title shot against Aldo at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, but the champion is reportedly suffering lingering effects from an older injury and will likely not return to the cage until September.
Going down Aug. 6, UFC 133 will be headlined by a pivotal light heavyweight contest between Phil Davis and Rashad Evans. Also featured will be a middleweight scrap between sluggers Alessio Sakara and Jorge Rivera, as well as welterweight tilt featuring Dennis Hallman taking on Brian Ebersole.
Mendes is perfect through his professional career. The muscular wrestler made his Zuffa debut in March 2010, outpointing Erik Koch at WEC 47. The 26-year-old rattled off a four-fight win streak inside the little blue cage before making his UFC debut against Japanese import Michihiro Omigawa in February. Mendes used sharp boxing and powerful takedowns to dominate Omigawa for the bout's three-round duration at UFC 126.
Yahya, also 26, comes fresh off a victory over former WEC featherweight king Mike Brown at UFC Fight Night 23. The win snapped a two-fight skid for the Brazilian, as he was bested Joseph Benavidez and Takeya Mizugaki in his final two bouts in the WEC. A former WEC bantamweight title contender, Yahya spent over two years at 135 pounds before moving back to featherweight for his UFC debut against Brown in January.