Mendes is perhaps the best wrestler in the featherweight division, but he didn't solely rely on his wrestling to beat Yahya. Instead he kept the fight standing much of the time and got the better of the striking exchanges, showing off some impressive punching power.
When Mendes did use his wrestling, he was smart about it: He would take Yahya down and put him on his back, but he was cautious when he got down there, knowing that Yahya is a great Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner who could submit Mendes off his back. Early in the fight Mendes would throw Yahya down and get back up, and in the third round, when Mendes finally stayed on the ground with Yahya, he never allowed himself to get in any real danger.
Mendes said after the fight that he thought he might have broken his hand in the second round, but he never looked any worse for wear.
Now Mendes is 11-0, and he's likely next in line for a title shot in the featherweight division. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will defend his title against Kenny Florian at UFC 136 in October, and the winner will probably face Mendes early in 2012. Mendes will be a tough opponent for anyone.
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