In a UFC on Fox 9 Featherweight tilt, Chad Mendes (16-1) pulled out a unanimous decision win over Nik Lentz (24-6-2, 1 NC). After the win, Chad is now 7-1 inside the Octagon with his only loss coming to champion Jose Aldo. Lentz fell to 8-3-1, 1 NC in defeat.
After a 4-fight string of finishes, this was far from Mendes' best performance. He did well in the first, hurting Lentz repeatedly with power strikes while mixing in takedowns. However, his standing prowess dropped off in the last two rounds. Lentz marked him up with quick clean combos in both rounds but could not keep it standing. He gave up way too many touchdowns that ended up costing him the decision.
What was the high point of the fight?
While the majority of the fight was pretty frustrating, Mendes looked good early in round one. He blasted Lentz with punches a few times and looked like he might be able to finish the fight.
Where do they go from here?
Mendes' only career loss has come to one of the most dominant champions in the UFC. Many still have him as the #2 fighter in the division and are calling for him to get his second chance at contention following this fight. Personally, I'd rather see him face off against Cub Swanson, who's also made a strong case for contendership, while they wait for Aldo's next defense against Ricardo Lamas.
Lentz had reinvigorated his career with the move to Featherweight. He'd gone 3-0 since dropping down and earned his way into top 10 talks. This is a significant setback for him, but he's definitely shown he's a Featherweight competitor.
Watch it now, later, or never?
You can either skip this one completely or just watch the first round and quit. Other than a couple sweet escapes from Lentz, there's not much to see here.