Former UFC title contender Chad Mendes has seemingly, once and for all (maybe), announced his retirement from combat sports. According to him, it’s going to be final this time. ‘Money’ Mendes made his declaration after his BKFC 41 loss to fellow UFC veteran Eddie Alvarez on Saturday.
“I just wanted to say thank you to all the fans. It’s been a lifelong career for me,” the 37-year-old said during his ring interview. “I started wrestling at the age of five years old. Never took a year off all the way up through this now. So I’m officially hanging them up tonight.
“Thank you very much for all the awesome memories throughout my UFC career, coming into bare-knuckle.”
Chad Mendes has lost the drive
Mendes first announced his retirement in 2019, after his loss to current featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232 in late 2018. But, as per usual in prizefighting, such announcements rarely ever seem to stick. In 2021, Mendes signed a multi-fight deal with BKFC. At the time, his main motivation was to “try something different.”
Chad Mendes picked up the victory in his bare-knuckle boxing debut in February 2022 with a 4th-round TKO win over Joshuah Alvarez. He then drew ex-UFC champ Eddie Alvarez as his next opponent, an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“I had no desire, but something like this came up, and obviously, the pay is really damn good,” Chad Mendes said during a post-fight scrum. “And it’s something that’s new, which kind of excited me so I did it. I was done after that first one, and then they dangled someone like (Alvarez) in front of me. I’m like, ‘Alright, f—k. I’ll do one more. This could be the retirement fight.’
“I don’t need to be doing this shit anymore. It’s fun, but I feel like at this point, I’m just being selfish. I got a solid family that loves me and I got other things in the works that I can just pour my heart and soul into and be successful at. But man, that was a hell of a fight.”
Before the event, Chad Mendes also mentioned that at this point in his life, he has plenty of other endeavors that keep him occupied and financially afloat.
“The money that I get from fighting isn’t something I absolutely need. I have some other businesses that are successful and doing really well. (They) keep me busy, and they’re things that I absolutely love to do, but it is nice to still compete.”
Outside of fighting, Mendes created his own business, Finz and Feathers, a guide service that focuses on hunting and fishing.
Mendes’ fighting career
As a professional combat sports athlete, Mendes had a highly successful career that began in 2008 after a strong run as a collegiate wrestler—including a Pac-10 championship and 2x All American honors. With stints under PFC and Tachi Palace Fights, he fought his way into the WEC with an unbeaten 5-0 record, before moving to the UFC in 2011.
Mendes didn’t taste defeat in the cage for the first time until 2012, when he lost to a prime Jose Aldo in the midst of his dominant featherweight title reign. Over seven years in the UFC, he faced off against the likes of CLay Guida, Darren Elkins, Frankie Edgar, and a second FOTY winning bout against Aldo. He also stepped in as a last-minute replacement against Conor McGregor in 2015, where he was able to put on a decent performance before getting stopped in the second round.
Chad Mendes left MMA with a record of 18-5. His bare-knuckle boxing record stands at 1-1. Who knows what the future will hold.
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