Omigawa Rejoins UFC Against Undefeated Mendes

By Mike Whitman Dec 9, 2010
Michihiro Omigawa: Taro Irei |

Top Japanese featherweight Michihiro Omigawa has re-signed with the UFC, and his first opponent will be undefeated Team Alpha Male standout Chad Mendes.

Reports of Omigawa's negotiations with the promotion have been circulating for months. first reported the Mendes matchup on Thursday afternoon. It is currently unknown at which event the pair will meet, but the rumored timetable is late February to early March.

A product of the Yoshida Dojo, Omigawa is widely regarded as one of the best featherweights in the world. The judoka has won five straight fights, including victories over Hatsu Hioki, Hiroyuki Takaya and most recently Cole Escovedo.

In 2009, Omigawa fought his way to the finals of Sengoku's featherweight grand prix, notching wins over L.C. Davis, Nam Phan and Marlon Sandro along the way before falling to Masanori Kanehara. Though he went just 1-4 to start his career,the 34-year-old has won eight of his last nine fights against tough competition in Dream and Sengoku. Omigawa's previous stint in the UFC lasted only two fights, as he dropped lightweight bouts to Matt Wiman and Thiago Tavares, respectively.

Mendes is undefeated in nine pro outings. The stout wrestler earned four consecutive wins in the WEC, all in 2010. Most recently, the 25-year-old earned a unanimous decision over jiu-jitsu ace Javier Vazquez at WEC 52 in November. “Money Shot” also took home victories over Erik Koch, Anthony Morrison and Cub Swanson in the little blue cage of the WEC. As the organization will merge with its sister company in 2011, Mendes will make his UFC debut in this upcoming bout.
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