Chad Mendes feels wrestling, power striking superior to TUF 22 Finale opponent Frankie Edgar

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Chad Mendes retires

“I don’t think the wrestling is going to cancel out at all. I mean, I feel like my wrestling is better than his. He’s a great MMA wrestler, he’s good at timing, but I feel like – obviously he just fought Urijah Faber. I train with Urijah every single day. And so I have insight. Like, I know what he’s going to be feeling like in certain positions. I’ve been training a lot with Urijah on Frankie, feeling this out. We’ve sat down with coaches and gameplanned over stuff, setting all that stuff up. So I feel very confident. I feel like my wrestling, obviously I’m gonna be looking to mix it up everywhere with this fight. I mean, a guy like him is what you have to do. You have to mix it up all over. If you’re sticking with one little thing, he’s going to end up picking you apart, or switching stuff up on you. So nah, I don’t think the wrestling’s going to cancel itself out… Yeah, I think my power is the big difference between us. He has a lot more output, he uses more volume punches, but you know, there’s a lot of mistakes that I see, that he makes when he’s in there, throwing punches. So I think someone like me, who’s fast, explosive, powerful, can be a big danger for someone like him, that’s coming in a lot and loves to be in the pocket, [where] you get hit with big punches. Obviously we’ve seen him take some big punches and keep going, but we’ll see if he can handle my power that night. So we’ll find out very soon.”

-Chad Mendes talks to Submission Radio about his Dec. 11 matchup with Frankie Edgar, and the advantages he feels he has in the bout.

Penick’s Analysis: These are two of the very best fighters in the world at 145 lbs, and the differences between them are very small. They’re both fantastic with their wrestling, top control, and ground and pound, they both have fight ending potential in their striking, and they’re both quite fast with historically solid gas tanks. Mendes has been shaken a bit on that front, but the other aspects of this fight are real close to even, and make for a massively intriguing stylistic matchup. That he feels his game is stronger overall is a benefit to him confidence-wise, but belief and reality can often be very different things, and he’s got a tough task ahead of him regardless. This is a huge spot for both fighters as they try to earn another title fight, and if Mendes can prove himself superior, he’ll be right back into a title fight in 2016 despite losses to Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor.

[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]

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