Chad Mendes is 10-0 in mixed martial arts competition with six decisions to his name, including three in a row. He has an extremely decorated wrestling background at California Polytechnic State University. During his senior year, Mendes finished 30-1 and lost in the 141 pound finals. He won Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year in 2008.
All those decisions. All those credentials. Without ever actually seeing him fight a majority of fans would simply assume that Mendes is a boring, grinding wrestler.
And that wouldn't be the case.
His most recent fight, a decision victory over Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 126, was contested just as much on the feet as it was on the ground. Mendes was able to out-strike, out-wrestle and out-work the Japanese superstar to earn a decisive decision.
Mendes though, believes regardless of how the fight goes down, wrestlers are getting a bad rap.
"I hear it a lot being a wrestler, and I can agree to a certain point but you have to look at is like this, as long as you're throwing some good ground n pound, you're basically not sitting there doing nothing," Mendes told MMA Fight Corner presented by FiveKnuckles.com. "That's a wrestler's strong point, that's their advantage. I mean that's where they're comfortable."
"If you're pissed off, if you're the one on your back, maybe you should learn how to be a better wrestler or learn how to defend it or get better at Jiu-Jitsu to submit these wrestlers."
Besides, this is more than simply entertaining the fans, for these guys it's their livelihood.
"Bottom line, at the end of the day that's my job," Mendes said. "This is how I make money, so ya know, to me getting that W is a little bit more important than trying to stand up and take the chance of getting knocked out."
Coming out of college, Mendes hooked up with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. The camp has been able to round out the games of wrestlers like Faber and Joseph Benavidez, and is quickly becoming one of the premier camps for the lower weight classes.
Mendes, Faber and Benavidez are the three most well known guys from the gym, forming a close friendship that is unlike almost any other mixed martial arts gym in the world. They train together. They party together. They even live on the same block as each other.
A bond that tight would make it seem unlikely that any of the three ever face each other inside the Octagon. However, Mendes believes that it could happen. For a hefty price.
"If there's enough money involved, it would probably happen," Mendes said. "But I mean, I'm talking a lot of money. None of us want to fight each other. I don't want to fight any of them, they don't wanna fight me. It's like fighting your brother. That's not something you want to do and it's not going to be fun."
While Mendes currently resides at 145 pounds and Faber and Benavidez at 135, a match-up involving Mendes seems very unlikely. In the meantime, Mendes will simply help Urijah Faber get ready for his next opponent: bantamweight title holder Dominick Cruz.
Cruz and Team Alpha Male have had a long standing beef between each other. Urijah Faber immediately called Cruz out when he dropped to 135 and the banter hasn't stopped since. Some have wondered what the big deal was and whether or...