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The former NCAA All-American wrestler at Cal Poly and Team Alpha Male standout retires with a record of 18-5.
After winning his first five pro bouts on the regional circuit, the fighter nicknamed “Money” signed with Zuffa and debuted in the WEC in 2010, defeating Eric Koch at WEC 47.
He won four in a row in the WEC, then, after the WEC was absorbed into the UFC, won two more to run his record to 11-0.
He then received a shot at Jose Aldo’s featherweight title at UFC 142, losing via KO at the 4:59 mark of the second round. He bounced back from the loss by winning five in a row before losing another challenge to Aldo at UFC 179, this time losing a unanimous decision in one of 2014’s most memorable bouts.
Mendes rebounded with a win over Ricardo Lamas, but things got rough from there, as he went 1-3 the rest of the way, including a famous loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 189. He also sat out due to a USADA suspension.
“I wanted to step away for a little bit and let everything settle, just make sure my feelings didn’t change,” Mendes told ESPN. “And they haven’t. It’s just that time for me. I have no regrets. I had an amazing time.”
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