View Full Version : NEWS: Mendes: Omigawa a ‘Perfect’ Matchup

02-02-2011, 11:14 AM
Although Michihiro Omigawa has emerged as a tough matchup for anyone, Chad Mendes believes he’s the perfect opponent for his continued climb up the featherweight ladder.

They fight Feb. 5 at UFC 126.

“He’s definitely been on a tear,” Mendes acknowledged recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “He doesn’t have the best standup. He’s effective with it, but it’s not the most technical. He’s not necessarily the fastest fighter ever, but he does look very strong. … Seems like he’ll rush into you with pretty crazy standup just to close the distance and then go for bodylocks. He likes the clinch, over-and-under kind of stuff and then works a lot of trips. I think that’s perfect for me.”

Mendes was a two-time All-American wrestler at Cal Poly. He also trained Greco-Roman wrestling growing up, using upper body maneuvers and throws somewhat similar to Omigawa’s judo background.

“I’m just going to potshot a lot,” Mendes said, “and when he rushes in, be looking to blast doubles. I think personally this is a great matchup for me.”

Omigawa has won five straight since dropping an August 2009 split decision to Masanori Kanehara. That fight is one of only two defeats Omigawa has suffered since his first UFC run ended in January 2008.

Mendes, on the other hand, has never fought in the UFC. He didn’t expect to be making his debut quite so quickly either.

“I still remember just as a little kid watching [the UFC] with my dad, renting some of the old DVDs from Blockbuster,” Mendes said. “I loved it then. I thought it was so cool. It’s crazy now that I’m going to be fighting in the UFC. I thought I’d be good at it and I’d do well in my career, but coming this far this fast is definitely unexpected.”

Mendes has built a 9-0 record and moved into title contention. Possibly his biggest win came in November when he outpointed Javier Vazquez, a quality opponent who had been critical of Mendes’ skills before the fight.

“The whole Javy thing with the talking crap back and forth, it definitely motivated me, but that’s not something that I need to fight,” Mendes said. “That definitely added to it, but that’s not something I need to get in there and go hard.”

That’s a good thing, as Omigawa likely won’t talk any trash to give Mendes extra motivation. The Japanese fighter’s No. 4 ranking should be motivation enough, though. Mendes wants the win, but he’s hoping for style points as well.

“I’m working so hard on my standup,” he said. “It’s just a comfort thing for me getting in there when I go live. I’d obviously like to get a knockout in this fight or at least just showcase a lot of my standup. Hopefully I get in there and the confidence shines through and I can let my hands go. A knockout would be awesome.”

Read entire article: http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Mendes-Omigawa-a-Perfect-Matchup-29563