Former featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes confirmed his retirement.
After 23 professional fights, Chad Mendes has called it a career.
Mendes reached out to ESPN to confirm that he was done fighting.
Although there has been speculation that Mendes was retired, he told ESPN, “I wanted to step away for a little bit and let everything settle, and just make sure my feelings didn’t change, as I was coming right out of a training camp and a fight.”
Most recently, Mendes lost to Alexander Volkanovski via TKO at UFC 232 in Dec. 2018. Despite the loss, the fight, and Mendes’ performance was widely praised.
At 34, Mendes holds a 18-5 record in MMA.
Mendes went undefeated in WEC, before being absorbed into the UFC.
While in the UFC, Mendes won his first two fights, before getting KO’d by Jose Aldo in a featherweight title fight at UFC 142. He would go on the win his next five fights, but once again fell to champion Jose Aldo via unanimous decision in a well-received fight at UFC 179.
Perhaps, Mendes’ most visible fight came against Conor McGregor at UFC 189, in July 2015.
UFC 189 was originally scheduled to be headlined by a featherweight title fight between Aldo and McGregor. However, Mendes stepped in when Aldo withdrew shortly before the fight. The fight was contested for the interim title.
Mendes had a very impressive showing in round one, before gassing in round two, and succumbing to McGregor via TKO. The fight was a success for the UFC, and marked the start of McGregor’s run as the top pay-per-view star in the UFC.
After the McGregor fight, Mendes lost to Frankie Edgar in Dec. 2015.
In 2016 Mendes was issued a two-year suspension for a failed an out-of-competition drug test. Mendes would return in July 2018 to defeat Myles Jury.