SAN JOSE, Calif. — Chad Mendes will get his title shot, but he’ll have to travel to Brazil for it.
UFC president Dana White said Saturday night at the UFC Fight Night: Lawler vs. Brown press conference that Mendes will challenge featherweight champion Jose Aldo in the main event of UFC 179 on Oct. 25 in Rio de Janeiro.
Aldo and Mendes were supposed to meet at UFC 176 on Aug. 2 in Los Angeles, but that entire event was canceled when Aldo injured his neck and spine in training. White said earlier this month that Aldo would be able to return in 45 days, which clearly led to this new booking.
Aldo (24-1) has beaten Mendes once already, in January 2012 by knockout. That fight also took place in Brazil. Aldo has not lost a fight since 2005 and has won 17 in a row. Since the Mendes fight, Aldo has defended his title three times, against Frankie Edgar, Chan Sung Jung and, most recently, Ricardo Lamas in February.
Mendes (16-1) has won five straight after that loss to Aldo. He’s coming off a unanimous decision win over Nik Lentz last December.
The UFC this week announced four more Brazilian shows to close out 2014, promising that one will feature a title fight. White said UFC Brazil was going to be mad at him, but he let the cat out of the bag with Aldo-Mendes II on Saturday night. The pay-per-view card is scheduled to take place at Ginasio do Maracanazinho.
Aldo and Mendes have traded barbs on social media recently, with both of them throwing out performance-enhancing drug accusations.