Former UFC featherweight contender Chad Mendes is coming out of retirement, but he won’t be re-signing with the UFC.
Mendes, 36, revealed on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience that he has signed a multi-fight deal with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC).
“I just signed a big contract – I’m coming back to fighting,” Mendes said (transcript via MMA Junkie’s John Morgan). “But I’m not coming back to MMA. … I’m coming back to boxing. I want to try something different. I think we’re going to throw some bareknuckle in there, bro – just mix it up and get real crazy. This is something that’s kind of been in the works for probably a year now.”
MMA Junkie reports that Mendes had several fights left on his UFC contract but that the premiere fight promotion decided to release him so he could sign “the most lucrative deal” of his career with BKFC.
Mendes (9-5 UFC, 18-5 MMA), who tested positive for PEDs in 2016, announced his BKFC debut will take place on October 22 in Chandler, Arizona at 155 pounds, although he didn’t reveal an opponent.
The Team Alpha Male (TAM) product hasn’t fought since his 2018 stoppage loss to current featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski, which saw the former knocked out in the second round. Mendes has only ever lost to former — and current — UFC champions, and was formerly considered one of the greatest featherweights in MMA.