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Chad Mendes set for bare-knuckle boxing debut at BKFC KnuckleMania II in February

The former UFC featherweight has a date for his highly anticipated debut. 

Chad Mendes is set for his bare-knuckle boxing debut under the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) banner.

BKFC President Dave Feldman recently told Damon Martin of MMA Fighting Mendes would be featured at BKFC KnuckleMania II, the upcoming event scheduled to take place on Feb. 19 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. The former UFC featherweight turned BKFC lightweight has since confirmed the news on social media. An opponent for Mendes has not been revealed, but John Morgan of MMA Junkie reported that it is expected to be Joshuah Alvarez.

“It’s been a lifelong grind and it ain’t over yet!,” wrote Mendes. “Feb. 19 I’m bringing the heat in Florida.”

Mendes was a staple in the featherweight division during his stints in the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and UFC. ‘Money’ fought for the UFC featherweight championship three times, twice against Jose Aldo for the undisputed title and once against Conor McGregor for an interim title. Mendes suffered defeat in all three fights.

The Team Alpha Male product went 1-2 in his final appearances in the UFC, losing to Frankie Edgar and Alexander Volkanovski by way of knockout. Mendes would then retire from the sport and spent three years away from active competition before ending his retirement and signing a multi-fight deal with BKFC last August. Though Mendes signed with BKFC, he is still under contract with the UFC and hinted at a return to the Octagon at some point.

Alvarez has fought twice for BKFC. ‘Famez’ earned a win over Paul Teague at BKFC 18, but dropped a unanimous decision loss to Arthur Walcott-Ceesay at BKFC 22.

BKFC KnuckleMania II will be headlined by Mike Perry vs. Julian Lane. That fight came together after Perry and Lane were involved in a ringside brawl at BKFC Tampa in December.