Now that the UFC on Fox 9 main event has been put in place, its time for the rest of the fight card to start filling out.
Following Monday night’s announcement that UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will square off with Josh Thomson in the headliner, BleacherReport.com has confirmed that Chad Mendes and Nik Lentz have verbally agreed to meet on the Sacramento, Calif., fight card as well. The UFC later added its own confirmation of the bout.
Lentz was originally expected to face Steven Siler at UFC Fight for the Troops 3 in November, but reportedly jumped at the opportunity to fight Mendes.
Mendes joins Team Alpha Male teammate Urijah Faber on the card. Faber is expected to meet Michael McDonald in the night’s co-main event. Faber and Mendes will have the home field advantage for this one, as their team is based in Sacramento.
Mendes (15-1) has been knocking on the door of a return title shot against featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Mendes lost to Aldo when they met at UFC 142 early last year, but he immediately returned to his winning ways following that fight. He has reeled off four consecutive victories, knocking out Cody McKenzie, Yaotzin Meza, Darren Elkins, and Clay Guida.
It’s a crowded division, however, so instead of waiting around, Mendes will take on one of the other top contenders in the 145-pound class.
Lentz (24-5-2, 1 no contest) has been on a streak of his own since dropping down to the featherweight division. He has defeated Eiji Mitsuoka, Diego Nunes, and Hacran Dias in succession.
Adding a victory over Mendes to his string of victories would be a key step on Lentz’s road to a title shot.
UFC on Fox 9: Pettis vs. Thomson takes place on Dec. 14 at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.