It looks like Chad Mendes is going to be with the Ultimate Fighting Championship for quite some time yet, as the featherweight contender has reportedly signed a new, eight fight deal. But, as Mendes recently relayed in an interview, he did think about testing the open market.
After Mendes took out Ricardo Lamas in April, “Money” had one fight left on his previous deal. In a recent interview with FOX Sports.com, Mendes revealed the following:
“I’m very excited about it,” Mendes said. “I had one fight left on my contract and I was open to fighting it out and just kind of seeing what I was worth on the open market and the UFC made it pretty clear they did not want to lose me.”
“It feels good to finally get up there in the contract where you’re making some money and it definitely helps when you’re spending a lot doing these training camps, bringing in partners to help with your training, bringing trainers in and all the stuff you have to do. I’m excited for it, I can’t wait my next one.”
Of course, it’s not surprising to hear that the UFC came to Mendes with a good offer. The 30 year-old is one of the planet’s top 145’ers, and is also a documented finisher, which fans love to watch. Mendes also reported that the UFC’s Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta flew out to Sacramento to negotiate with him face-to-face. So clearly, he’s viewed as a valuable asset for the company.
It’s also interesting to hear that Mendes considered letting his contract run out, however. There’s no doubt that the UFC remains very much the top dog in the MMA industry, but, Bellator does have the ability to make some nice offers–thanks to Viacom–and one would think they would have come with a sizeable one as well.
At any rate, now it will be interesting to see who the UFC books Mendes to fight next. The Team Alpha Male fighter is still sitting in the #1 contender spot at 145.