Black belt world champion Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes confirmed to GRACIEMAG.com that he was called by the UFC to make his debut in the promotion this Sunday at UFC Fight Night 81, in Boston.
According to Mendes, who has a 5-0 record in MMA, the call came in Saturday evening, through his coach John Crouch: “He called to say the UFC had invited me to fight in one week. We talked a bit and decided to accept the challenge.”
After accepting the challenge, Tanquinho scrambled to get the paper work in order to make the debut possible: “I had to do a bunch of medical tests and send it over so I could sign the contract.”
Tanquinho was in the early stages of his camp for a title fight at Legacy FC, on Feb.5, against Ricardo Ramos, for the bantamweight belt.
That fight is now off, as Tanquinho confirmed: “I had a clause in my contract with Legacy, which stated that if the UFC ever called, I was free to go.”
Mendes said that the short notice changes his schedule a bit, but not much: “I was already on a diet, but now I had to really cut down to make the weight in one week, despite the new fight being in the featherweight division, 10lb heavier than what I needed to make for Legacy. I was already training three rounds and I was going to add two more rounds further down the road, so the difference is that now I have to get ready for a different opponent.”
Tanquinho’s opponent will be Charles Rosa (10-2), who was supposed to fight Jimy Hettes, out with a knee injury during training.
Mendes also said that he has spoken with his teammate and good friend, former lightweight champion Ben Henderson, who told him a little about the opponent: “Ben told me it’s a good match up. He said the guy has a good ground game, but can also strike.”