Bloody Elbow's friend and USA Today reporter Sergio Non conducted an extensive interview with featherweight Chad Mendes today, where the undefeated Team Alpha Male fighter talked about a number of subjects. The most detailed were his thoughts on the Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick fight from UFC 129, and his own possible title shot at UFC 133 in Philadelphia. He was obviously elated when Dana White mentioned at the UFC 129 post-fight press conference that Mendes could get the next shot at Aldo's belt, but he was clear to point out that it's not set in stone yet:
So have you been offered the Aldo fight officially?
It's nothing official. I haven't signed anything yet, but I'm hoping. That's what I want.
Despite not signing on the dotted line as of today, "Money" is clearly pretty happy with the whole thing:
When you heard Dana say that you're likely the next guy for the title shot, what went through your mind?
We've kind of been talking about it for awhile, and I was hoping that it was going to be. Just hearing him say that, it's awesome, man.
I've only been doing this for three years. I have 10 fights, and to be fighting for a UFC world title, it's unreal. This is definitely my dream. I'm living my dream and taking it a day at a time and soaking it all up.
Sergio sees a parallel between Mendes and Jon Jones in terms of how quickly they've made a splash on the scene and risen to become title contenders, and asks Chad about it:
It's almost a Jon Jones-type acceleration. How much does that match your expectation of how quickly you thought you'd progress?
I definitely didn't think it was going to be this fast.
I mean, I knew and I believed in myself. I knew that I would do well in the sport, seeing Urijah (Faber) do well and seeing how similar our body types were, and similar styles and stuff. And just coming from the wrestling background, I knew I would do well. But I just did not think I would be here this fast.
It's onto Aldo from there, where Sergio asks some great questions and Mendes offers his views of the Aldo/Hominick fight, discusses who else should be in the mix for a title shot, and how Aldo's weight would affect a possible fight with Mendes. One thing I always find interesting is a fighter's walkaround weight, and Sergio hits on that too:
What do you normally walk around at?
Me, I'm close to 160. Anywhere from 156 to 160 is what I'm usually at.
There is much, much more quality stuff in the interview, including a breakdown of his Michihiro Omigawa fight at UFC 126, the idea that Team Alpha Male's reputation has helped him move forward, injuries, and how he would replicate Aldo in practice. I highly recommend you check the whole thing out.