After a quick win this past Saturday at UFC 158, Darren Elkins (16-2, 6-1 UFC) has agreed to step in and fight again next month at UFC On FOX 7. Elkins will replace the injured Clay Guida and take on former featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes (13-1, 4-1 UFC) at the event. MMAJunkie.com reported the news on Tuesday morning.
Elkins scored a quick first-round knockout win over Antonio Carvalho at Saturday’s UFC 158 event, his fifth straight win since dropping down to 145 pounds. Elkins said he was looking for a Top 10 opponent following the win, and he gets it in a big way in Mendes, who is ranked #1 at 145 pounds in the lastest UFC rankings. Elkins has also scored wins over Steven Siler, Diego Brandao, Tiequan Zhang and Michihiro Omigawa since moving to featherweight.
Mendes has been through a number of different opponents over the last several months. He was slated to fight Hacran Dias at UFC On FX 6 in December. Dias pulled out of the fight, but Mendes was still able to compete, scoring a knockout win over late replacement Yaotzin Meza. Mendes was then set to fight Manny Gamburyan at UFC 157 in February, but Gamburyan pulled due to injury as well. Mendes was then taken off that card and moved to fight Guida, who pulled out due to injury last week. Mendes, though, has finally found someone to step up to fight him.
Mendes vs. Elkins has yet to be formally announced by the UFC, but it is expected to be the featured preliminary bout on FX. UFC On FOX 7 takes place on April 20 from the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California. The main card airs on FOX, with prelims airing on FX and Facebook. UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson defends the title against final Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez in the main event.
The current UFC On FOX 7 card shapes up like this: