Chad Mendes is ending his retirement on Saturday night as he will make his Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut.
Mendes retired following his TKO loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232 but decided to make a comeback and signed with BKFC, which the UFC gave him permission for. He still has three fights left on his contract and with that, he says he won’t rule out returning to MMA.
“I still have three fights on my UFC contract, and what that pay is right now, not a chance,” Mendes told MMA Junkie. “It’s just not worth it for me. If I ended up talking and we could renegotiate, possibly. But it would have to be really good money. The UFC) were actually really cool about letting me come here and making money for my family. They could have said no, so the fact that they did say yes, that’s good on them. Thank you.”
Although when Chad Mendes retired, he thought it was for good, he says there are a couple of things that lured him to BKFC. The most obvious is money but he also says this was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
“I retired pretty much in my prime – I was 34 years old,” Mendes said. “Not because I couldn’t compete with the best in the world – I know I can. Just for me, it wasn’t worth it. I had other businesses that I started, and I was doing really well in those, so I decided to step away. This opportunity wasn’t something I went looking for. It just kind of came to me, and being in my prime for me would be kind of stupid to pass up especially because I still have that drive to compete. It’s not like I was completely done competing altogether.
“So I decided to talk numbers. We got the right type of pay figured out. It’s something I’m excited about, which makes it all worthwhile – get in there and crush my soul to get in there and compete at the highest level. It’s a different organization. It’s completely new to me, which, that in itself is pretty exciting,” Mendes continued. “I’ve obviously never boxed professionally, especially not bareknuckle, so it’s something I associate with being primal. I’m really big into the outdoor industry. I love hunting, I love fishing, I love being connected to where my food comes from and the earth, and this kind of just fits right in that wheelhouse.”
Chad Mendes is set to face Joshuah Alvarez in a 155-pound bout at “BKFC: Knucklemania II” which goes down on Saturday night. Mike Perry also makes his debut on the card as well.