Featherweight Chad Mendes
was "stoked" when he was offered Japanese star Michihiro Omigawa
for his UFC debut this Saturday at UFC 126
in Las Vegas.
"I think for me it's a perfect matchup," Mendes said Monday on The MMA Hour
. "Omigawa is the type of guy that likes to get his hands on you, he needs to bear hug to take you down to the mat."
Mendes, a two-time All-American wrestler, believes his background in wrestling and experience with Greco-Roman wrestling will prevent Omigawa from taking the top position.
"When he rushes in to get his hands on you," Mendes said. "A lot of the times he rushes with ugly punches to just close the distance. So when he does that I'm just going to drop levels and use my shot to take him down."
On the striking department, Mendes sees Omigawa as a flat-footed fighter who tends to throw looping punches.
"For me to use my footwork with my speed, in and out," Mendes said. "I think that's one of the killer things for this fight."
Omigawa underwent a career resurgence in Japan the past two years after making the drop to 145 pounds. It was a decision made following back-to-back losses in the UFC where he found himself at a disadvantage.
"A lot of the times he was outsized and I think his strength is his strength in a lot of his fights," Mendes commented. "So going against those guys at 155, that kind of nullified him a little bit."
The winner of Mendes-Omigawa will most likely be headed towards title contention. Experts had pegged the winner of Mendes-Omigawa as the next challenger against champ Jose Aldo
had Mark Hominick
not beaten George Roop
at UFC Fight for the Troops 2
Although Mendes won't have a single UFC fight on his record until Saturday, the Team Alpha Male fighter, who was 4-0 in the WEC, is already comfortable accepting a title shot.
"[Fighting for the belt] is what basically I'm in here training everyday for, so that's the ultimate goal and I personally think I'm ready and obviously there's room for improvement -- there always is, but why not?"