Former three time featherweight title challenger Chad ‘Money’ Mendes (17-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) is set to make his much anticipated return at UFC Boise next weekend.
Edgar last fought at TUF season 22 finale in a quick turnaround against Frankie Edgar back in December 2015. With 1-3 in his last four fights, Mended decided to take some time off the sport to heal his mind and body.
“As fighters, everybody has that mentality of just go, go, go and the same with the wrestling mentality. There were multiple times during my wrestling career where I probably should have sat out a weekend but it was always push, go, push, go. Same thing in the fight world,” Mendes explained when speaking to MMAWeekly. “You get offered a fight, you take it. Especially as big a fight as it was with Frankie [Edgar]. I had just finished the Conor [McGregor] fight, which was a huge fight and it’s just tough to turn those things down.
“I probably should have taken a little more time. Nothing I can do about it now but move forward and try to learn from those experiences.”
However around the same time frame, bitter happened and Mendes was flagged for a doping violation by USADA in June 2016. Mendes found out that the cream he was using to treat his psoriasis contained the banned substance. Mendes accepted the suspension, however looks to get things back on track this weekend.
“I was so frustrated with where I was, it was embarrassing as hell, I wasn’t trying to do anything, I was already taking a year off so I wasn’t even trying to fight it,” Mendes said about his punishment.
“I think because I didn’t fight it, that pissed off a lot of people, too. Ultimately, it comes down to I am innocent and that’s why I’m not fighting it. I’m admitted yes I was taking this but I didn’t know what was in it. I just want to move forward and fight hard. I’m working my ass off. I’ve been putting in the time and the work to be a champion. I’m here doing what I’m supposed to do.”
Mended believes the time off has allowed him to rest his body properly and is craving to get back into title contention.
“I’ve been able to let my body just rest and heal and recoup and it’s been great,” Mendes said. “I feel recharged and I feel excited to get back in there. I feel motivated in the gym. It’s been great.”
“I’m super excited to get back in there. Hopefully I win a fight or two and I’m right back where I left. I’ve got to focus on Myles right now. He’s a tough dude and that’s the task at hand,” Mendes said.
“I honestly believe a lot of these guys have their weaknesses and their weaknesses fall right into my strengths. I think it’s a perfect time for me to come back. Being able to take that time off and then coming back strong now, I think it’s just perfect timing for me. I’m just excited to start fighting these guys.”