Michihiro Omigawa (12-8-1), one of the highest-ranked featherweights outside of the Zuffa universe, has signed a deal with the UFC and will face up-and-coming contender Chad Mendes (9-0), according to an Ariel Helwani report on Versus.com.
Although his record doesn’t look all that impressive, Omigawa, who has competed in the UFC’s 155-pound division, has been on a tear since moving to 145, defeating the likes of Hatsu Hioki and Marlon Sandro. He’s currently on a five-fight win streak and defeated Cole Escovedo by first round submission at DREAM 16 on Sept. 25.
Omigawa could provide UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo with a much-needed challenge, with Aldo having already beaten two former titleholders — Urijah Faber and Mike Brown — and the most recent top contender, Manny Gamburyan, in dominant fashion. Aldo had been scheduled to face Josh Grispi at UFC 125 but had to withdraw due to an injury.
As for his opponent, Mendes, despite his lack of overall experience, the Team Alpha Male product went 4-0 in the UFC and most recently defeated longtime veteran and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Javier Vazquez by unanimous decision at WEC 52 on Nov. 11. Mendes may already be in the title picture, but a win over Omigawa would further solidify his status.