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Chad Mendes to Face Rani Yahya Instead of Jose Aldo at UFC 133

Preferring to stay active over waiting for a title shot, Chad Mendes will take on Rani Yahya at UFC 133 on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia.

UFC president Dana White said Tuesday via the company's website that the fight was made due to the uncertainty of featherweight champion Jose Aldo's return date.

The UFC was targeting Aldo to defend his belt against Mendes at UFC 133, but Aldo said late Monday he needed more time to heal from his last fight and not rush into another fight without adequate preparation time. His medical suspension off his UFC 129 win was also a factor cutting into his training time.

Aldo on Twitter said he wasn't injured and will be ready to fight in September or October.

The 26-year-old Mendes (10-0) fights out of Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male and won four WEC fights before transferring over to the UFC. In February, Mendes made his UFC debut by beating Michihiro Omigawa by unanimous decision.

Yahya (16-6) is known mostly for his grappling prowess, medaling in his division at ADCC 2005 and 2007. While with the WEC, he's been hit-or-miss, compiling a 4-3 record and falling short in his one bantamweight championship fight. Yahya moved back up to featherweight for his UFC debut in January and picked up the decision win over former WEC champ Mike Brown.

UFC 133, marking the return of the UFC to Philadelphia after a two-year break, will be headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis in a light heavyweight showdown with title shot implications.

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