UFC veteran and three-time featherweight title contender Chad Mendes made a successful bare-knuckle boxing debut on Saturday. The 35-year-old Team Alpha Male fighter took on a 155-pound bout against Joshua Alvarez and won via fourth-round TKO.
Mendes, who competed at 145 pounds in the UFC, appeared visibly bigger and bulkier as a BKFC lightweight fighter. And his new physique caught the attention of former middleweight champion and UFC Hall-of-Famer Michael Bisping, who had this to say in a recent Q&A session he did on his YouTube channel.
“Chad “Mini” Mendes. Chad “hand cream, steroid cream” Mendes, as he’s known in certain circles. Looks like he’s back on the juice, doesn’t he? Let’s be honest,” Bisping said.
“I don’t know if they test in Bare Knuckle FC, but Chad “Mini” Mendes wasn’t looking so “mini.” He was looking bloody jacked (as) f—k.”
“The Count” did give props to Mendes’ performance.
“But he had a great performance, so God bless him. What was it, a lunging left hook? Or a lunging right hook? Beautifully timed, it was nice.”
In 2016, Mendes tested positive for GHRP-6, a peptide that’s part of USADA’s banned substance list. His failed drug test was later attributed to his use of a skincare cream to treat his psoriasis. Despite admitting to wrongdoing, he was slapped with a two-year suspension.
Mendes returned to action in 2018, where he went 1-1. After his second-round TKO loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232, he announced his retirement from MMA competition at 33 years of age.