Surging featherweight Darren Elkins has answered the call to face Chad Mendes in the wake of Clay Guida’s exit from UFC on Fox 7.
Sherdog.com confirmed the booking with a source close to the bout following an initial report from MMAJunkie.com on Tuesday morning. UFC on Fox 7 takes place April 20 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., and is headlined by a lightweight championship showdown between reigning titlist Benson Henderson and ex-Strikeforce ruler Gilbert Melendez.
Elkins, 28, has won five straight fights since dropping to 145 pounds in 2011. Following his controversial unanimous decision win over Michihiro Omigawa, the Hoosier has fought impressively, dominating Tiequan Zhang and Steven Siler, and pulling off a come-from-behind victory over “TUF 14” winner Diego Brandao. Most recently, Elkins picked up a technical knockout win over Antonio Carvalho, stopping the Canadian in 3:06 this past Saturday at UFC 158.
One year younger than his opponent, Mendes has won back-to-back fights since failing in his bid to capture the UFC featherweight title from Jose Aldo last year. “Money” fought twice more to close out 2012, stopping Cody McKenzie with a brutal body blow before knocking out Octagon debutant Yaotzin Meza last December at UFC on FX 6.