MMAjunkie.com has reported three-time IBJJF World Champion Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes, who is 5-0 with 5 finishes in his young MMA career, has been signed by the UFC as a last minute replacement and will fight Charlie Rosa (10-2, 1-2 in UFC) in a featherweight fight this Sunday, January 17th at UFC Fight Night 81. Mendes steps in to replace Jimmy Hettes (11-3, 3-3 in UFC), who suffered a serious knee injury just a week before the fight. Even though he is a last minute replacement, Mendes has been training for a February 5th title fight with Ricardo Ramos for the vacant Legacy FC Bantamweight title.
Mendes, who is 32-years old, has had a very productive 2015, where he was 2-0 in the cage and captured the 2015 IBJJF NoGi World Championship as well as the bronze at the 2015 ADCC Championships. In an interview with MMAfighting.com in July, he spoke about the difficulties of finding MMA opponents due to his world class grappling skills.
“They hear I’m a jiu-jitsu champion and think ‘there’s a lot of jiu-jitsu champions out there’, they think it’s easy, but when they find out I’m a world champion as a black belt it makes a difference. There are fighters in the UFC who call themselves jiu-jitsu world champions, but they never won the IBJJF world championship as a black belt. That’s completely different. When they find out I’m an IBJJF black belt world champion and realize the fight won’t be easy, they pull out. Since I signed for my MMA debut, I believe more than 15 guys pulled out. For my first two or three fights, I guess I had 10 different opponents. They say yes, then Google my name and that’s it. It looks like fighters with a good record don’t want to fight me. But that’s it. I want to win the belt no matter what.”