It was a rough 2015 for UFC featherweight contender Chad Mendes. Aside from losing to Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar, the wrestling bull has been caught in the middle of a war between Duane Ludwig, T.J. Dillashaw and Urijah Faber at Team Alpha Male.
Faber publicized his beef with Ludwig on The MMA Hour and Dillashaw left the camp to train with "Bang" at Elevation Fight Team in Colorado. Mendes says it's been a stressful time in California and wants no part of the drama.
"It's something that's stressful and stresses me out," UFC featherweight Chad Mendes told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour (h/t Danny Segura of MMA Fighting). "It's something that I don't like being a part of. I love doing this as a sport. I got into this because I want to compete, and when all this stuff gets thrown into it, it's not fun for me and it's something I just don't want to be a part of."
The 30-year-old says he has no issue with Ludwig -- who helped sharpen Mendes' striking game from 2013-2014 -- and hopes that he can make friends with Faber in the future.
"I just feel like there is just too much drama between everything," he said. "I don't have anything against 'Bang.' There is nothing in my mind that makes me hate the guy or anything like that. I just feel like with him Faber and the whole drama thing is not worth me getting in the middle of it. It's like, ‘Dude, you guys are both doing this to each other. Just end it, it's fine, just go on with your lives. We don't have to hate each other â we can all still be friends.'"
Mendes, who lost via first round KO to Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale in December, isn't too dejected about the loss and says he "just got caught". "Money" wonders whether the IV ban affected his performance and suspects that he may have took more damage than usual in his training camp.
"I got connected on the nose. It was not like any crazy-solid punch," Mendes explained. "There was something that just wasn't right, you know. Whether that was the first fight I fought without using an I.V., you know, maybe the hydration process wasn't right. Maybe I took a little bit too much damage in that training camp than I should of or a little bit too much too late. I just felt like I've been hit way harder than that by so many other people and not been out. That was a flash that just graced my nose, really, and that's another thing that I felt was so frustrating for me. I know I'm better than that. Normally, that doesn't do that to me and it just sucks, but there is nothing you can do about it."
Mendes has cemented himself as one of the best featherweight fighters in the world, beating the likes of Clay Guida and Ricardo Lamas, but has failed to capture gold on three occasions. The former NCAA Division I wrestler, who has acquired a taste for knockouts, lost to Jose Aldo twice and Conor McGregor. With his most recent loss to Edgar, Mendes will have to develop a solid win streak to earn another shot at the title.