Mike Roberts on Monday said Chad Mendes (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is likely to reappear in April following the cancellation of his fight with Manny Gamburyan (12-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 157.
The manager also disputed a rumor that the onetime title challenger had turned down an offer to fight former Strikeforce lightweight Justin Wilcox (11-5).
"Any rumor that's out there saying that me or Chad turned down any fight is completely, 100 percent false," Roberts told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio
). "There's not a huge line of people that want to fight Chad, especially on two weeks' (notice)."
Wilcox yesterday responded, "Yes true" to a Twitter message that said he had volunteered for a spot vacated by Gamburyan due to injury. Wilcox's manager, Bob Cook, did not respond to request for comment.
Mendes and Gamburyan originally were scheduled to meet on the pay-per-view main card of the Feb. 23 event, which takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
"The fight was offered to several good people, and they felt it wasn't in their best interest to take it," said Roberts, who added that Mendes' disappointment at being out of a fight was brief.
"We'd fight anybody," he said. "Chad is the best, if not the second best guy in that weight division, period. Chad's not going to turn anybody down. He believes he can beat anybody."
Roberts hinted the UFC already has another opponent in mind for Mendes when he returns in April, but declined to offer a name. He ruled out a meeting with Ricardo Lamas, whom Mendes recently called out on Twitter.
Lamas, who recently earned his fourth straight win, vented at being passed over for the No. 1 contender spot for Anthony Pettis, who will drop from lightweight to featherweight to meet champ Jose Aldo on Aug. 3. Mendes doesn't believe "The Bully" is the No. 1 contender.
"He asked for Ricardo, and we've got two-and-a-half weeks, but apparently Ricardo agreed to another fight," Roberts said.
Mendes certainly won't be griping about Pettis' title shot.
"He sees how it's a business and why they want Aldo and Pettis to fight," said Roberts, who manages both fighters. "He's not going to cry and whine about it. He's going to hope Anthony wins, and Chad wins his fight – maybe they'll dance together."
For more on UFC 157 and the UFC's upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.