Retirement declarations in combat sports are never to be believed, and Chad Mendes is one of the living proofs of it. The 36-year-old former interim title challenger recently announced a “big contract” signing with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships.
Here’s what’s interesting: ‘Money’ Mendes is apparently still signed with the UFC. As he told MMA on Sirius XM this week, there were also talks about a possible boxing match with one of the sport’s biggest names.
"UFC's basically allowing me to go make some money [fighting for BKFC] and basically I still have a home with the UFC, if ever want to come back."@chadmendes shares some surprising details w/@RyanMcKinnell about his new BKFC deal— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) August 9, 2021
⬇️Full Interview⬇️https://t.co/bdZrJCajFj pic.twitter.com/qRoSsjhgOq
They threw out some big numbers and I’ve always wanted to try boxing. There was actually a little bit of talk with De La Hoya, even, just getting in there and doing some boxing with him.
But here’s the tricky part is I’m still under UFC contract. I still have fights on my contract, and so the UFC (is) basically allowing me to go make some money doing this bare-knuckle, and basically I still have a home with the UFC if I ever wanted to come back.
Obviously, my contract at the time of signing it was four, five years ago or something like that. It’s not a very good contract anymore. At the time, it was pretty good, but I would definitely need to re-talk and re-figure that sucker out.
Knowing how the UFC runs its business, Mendes admits he was “extremely shocked” at getting the go signal from them, his contract situation notwithstanding.
I thought they were just gonna say, ‘Screw you, not happening.’ But I’ve always had a good relationship with the UFC.
I felt I always tried to go above and beyond doing all the media and doing everything that led up to fights and I always trained my ass off and went in there and just competed as hard as I possibly could.
It is awesome to see them kind of recognize that and allow this to happen.
If you may all remember, a similar situation took place months ago involving Georges St-Pierre. The two-division champion wanted a charity boxing match with Oscar De La Hoya, but the UFC stepped in to kill it off. Triller wanted to pick up the pieces and make it happen, only to be met by calls from bossman Dana White to “leave his guys alone.”
Mendes last fought at UFC 232 in December 2018 against current champion Alexander Volkanovski. He lost via second-round TKO, prompting him to retire seven months later.