Three-time UFC title contender Chad Mendes has decided to call it a career.
On Tuesday, Mendes announced that he was retiring from mixed martial arts after taking time to mull over his decision following a loss in his last fight to Alexander Volkanovski last December.
“I wanted to step away for a little bit and let everything settle, just make sure my feelings didn’t change. And they haven’t,” Mendes said in a statement initially released by ESPN. “It’s just that time for me. I have no regrets. I had an amazing time.”
Mendes was a stalwart in the featherweight rankings during his career both in the UFC and WEC where he put together a very impressive resume over the years.
A runner up at the NCAA Championships in wrestling in 2008, Mendes made a flawless transition into fighting, earning wins in his first 11 fights.
Mendes worked alongside UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento for most of his career while racking up a string of wins over names such as Cub Swanson, Darren Elkins, Clay Guida, Nik Lentz and Ricardo Lamas.
Mendes fought for the UFC featherweight title against Jose Aldo on two separate occasions with the second fight considered one of the most epic battles in the history of the 145-pound title. While he came up short that night, Mendes definitely earned Aldo’s respect in a back and forth war over 25 minutes.
Mendes’ last shot at UFC gold came in a short notice interim title fight against Conor McGregor in 2015. Mendes opened with a dominant first round where he battered McGregor after taking him to the ground but he eventually ran out of gas, which led to a second round TKO loss.
“I had the privilege and honor to work with Chad during his MMA career from start to finish,” Mendes’ manager Jeff Meyer said in a statement sent to MMA Fighting on Tuesday. “Over the last 11 years, Chad has become one of my closest friends.
“I am very happy that he is retiring on his own terms, following a stellar career, to pursue his next adventure with Finz & Featherz Guide Service and as a new father.”
Finz and Featherz is a hunting and fishing expedition business that Mendes started over the past few years, which has become a real passion project for him outside of fighting. Now it appears Mendes will dedicate himself to that business on a full-time basis now that he’s putting mixed martial arts behind him.
At 34, Mendes retires with an 18-5 record overall, including five post-fight bonuses throughout his UFC career and six knockouts inside the Octagon.