Former three-time UFC featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes is officially retiring.
“Money” has been rumoured to be looking to hang up the gloves following his loss to Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski in December at UFC 232.
Now it’s confirmed after he broke the news to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
“The main reason I didn’t say something sooner was there were some loose ends I wanted to tie up,” Mendes 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.
“And they haven’t, man. It’s just that time for me. I have no regrets. I had an amazing time, being able to come right out of college wrestling and join an amazing team. All these guys at Team Alpha Male are like brothers to me.
“It was fun. But I always said, right off the bat, I’ll probably fight until 35 and reassess. My wife and I spoke before this last training camp, and we knew going in this was the last one.”
Mendes first challenged then-champion Jose Aldo for UFC featherweight gold at UFC 142. The Team Alpha Male standout challenged Brazilian Aldo again two years later in 2014, dropping a unanimous decision.
Rebounding to his rematch loss against Aldo in emphatic style against Ricardo Lamas, Mendes scored a last-minute interim title shot against Conor McGregor after Aldo pulled out of his fight with the Irishman with injury.
Mendes was stopped by McGregor with just seconds left of the second round after initially getting the better of his short-notice opponent.
With a 18-5 record, Mendes defeated the likes of Cub Swanson, Myles Jury, Nik Lentz, Clay Guida, Darren Elkins and the aforementioned Ricardo Lamas.