Chad Mendes Announces Retirement from MMA

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Chad Mendes discusses
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Chad Mendes has officially announced his retirement from MMA.

Chad Mendes made his mixed martial arts debut in 2008 with a NCAA Division I wrestling background at his disposal. It was nothing but unanimous decisions and finishes for Mendes in his first five fights prior to beginning his WEC career in March of 2010. Chad Mendes began his WEC career with a unanimous decision victory over future UFC fighter Erik Koch and continued his undefeated streak through his entire tenure in the promotion, tallying up four victories in the promotion to improve his MMA record to 9-0. One particularly notable victory under the WEC banner came against Cub Swanson in 2010, with Mendes earning another unanimous decision victory.

Chad Mendes debuted in the UFC in 2011 and, after winning his first two bouts, Mendes’s undefeated streak sat at 11 victories prior to his first loss to Jose Aldo in a featherweight championship bout. Mendes would bounce right back after this setback, however, with five consecutive victories, including over notable names like Clay Guida and Darren Elkins. This streak earned Mendes another title opportunity against Jose Aldo. Unlike the first fight against Aldo, which saw Mendes KOed in the first round, Mendes went the distance in the rematch, even earning the rare honor of Fight of the Year in 2014 for the UFC 179 bout. Mendes still came up short, however, losing to Aldo via unanimous decision.

After losing his second stab at UFC featherweight gold, Mendes earned a Performance of the Night victory over Ricardo Lamas, earning Mendes an opportunity to fill in for an injured Jose Aldo to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 189 for the interim featherweight championship. After a strong start, Mendes lost to McGregor via TKO, kicking off a streak where Mendes has now lost three of his last four fights. The most recent loss came at the hands of Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232 in December of 2018.

Chad Mendes released the following statement via Instagram to formally announce the retirement:

“I just want to say THANK YOU to all my fans and everyone that tuned in to watch me battle! With 29 years of competing and 11 year in the Mma game, I feel it’s time for the next chapter in my life! It’s been an incredible journey with so many life lesson along the way. I feel extremely blessed to be living this life I live and can’t wait to see what the next chapter has in store for me!”

Do you believe Chad Mendes is retiring from MMA prematurely?