Mendes wrecked the durable Darren Elkins with a barrage of first-round punches at UFC on Fox 7 “Henderson vs. Melendez” on Saturday at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Elkins (16-3, 6-2 UFC), who entered the cage on a five-fight winning streak, lasted just 68 seconds with the Californian.
The 27-year-old Mendes (14-1, 5-1 UFC) credited Team Alpha Male coach Duane Ludwig for his progress.
“It feels great. That is three first-round stoppages [in a row] for me,” he said. “With Duane here in my corner and at Team Alpha Male, I think that was the missing link. We’re killing it.”
Elkins never established a foothold in the fight. Mendes staggered him with a right hook to the temple, floored him with another and then finished it with a series of lefts on the ground, forcing referee Herb Dean to step in on the Duneland Vale Tudo representative’s behalf.
Afterward, Mendes took aim at the only man to defeat him: Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
“I want that rematch,” he said. “This is the goal, and I’m working hard every single day to get that belt. I’m coming in here and busting butt. I think it shows, and I think it’s time.”
Tristar Gym’s Carmont Outpoints Larkin
Tristar Gym export Francis Carmont extended his winning streak to 10 fights, as he took a contentious unanimous decision from Lorenz Larkin in a preliminary middleweight scrap. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Carmont (21-7, 5-0 UFC), who has not lost in five years.
Larkin (13-1, 0-1 UFC) was effective throughout the 15-minute affair, as he unleashed a variety of strikes on the Frenchman and showed off some much-improved takedown defense. He even delivered several unorthodox spinning heel kicks to the thigh.
Carmont’s repeated tries at takedowns finally paid off in the third round, where he grounded the Californian and kept his back to the mat before being swept by an attempted kimura. The late takedown and some nice work with body kicks and jabs was enough to spoil Larkin’s promotional debut and push Carmont ahead on the scorecards.
Unbeaten Jury Flattens Nijem
Alliance MMA’s Myles Jury kept his perfect professional record intact, as he knocked out Ramsey Nijem with an exquisite counter right hand in the second round of their preliminary lightweight clash. An unconscious Nijem (7-3, 3-2 UFC) fell to the floor 62 seconds into round two.
Jury (12-0, 3-0) controlled much of the match with superior grappling and scrambling. Roughly a minute into the second frame, Nijem moved into range with punches flying and ate a vicious overhand right from the Hazel Park, Mich., native that put him to sleep on impact. Jury dropped one final right hand on his supine adversary before referee “Big” John McCarthy could intervene.
Benavidez Waylays Overmatched Uyenoyama
The world-ranked Joseph Benavidez brought all of his firepower to bear in scoring a second-round technical knockout against Darren Uyenoyama in an undercard tilt at 125 pounds. Uyenoyama (8-4, 2-1 UFC) met his demise 4:50 into round two, his modest three-fight winning streak a thing of the past.
Benavidez (18-3, 5-1 UFC) was in prime form. The 28-year-old Team Alpha Male ace swarmed Uyenoyama with punches, kicks and takedowns throughout a one-sided first round, and he only picked up his intensity in the second. There, he short-circuited Uyenoyama with a liver kick, a left hook to the body and follow-up punches on the ground.
ATT’s Masvidal Outduels Means
American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal posted his fourth win in the past five appearances, as he captured a unanimous verdict from Tim Means in a preliminary lightweight affair. All three cageside judges arrived at the same decision: 29-28 for Masvidal (24-7, 1-0 UFC).
The 28-year-old Masvidal utilized a potent mix of strikes and takedowns against the former two-division King of the Cage champion. Means (18-4-1, 2-1 UFC) did some excellent work of his own, particularly off his back, opening a cut on the Miami native with an elbow midway through the bout. Masvidal weathered his attacks, maintained a dominant position and made a successful first run inside the Octagon.
The defeat snapped a nine-fight winning streak for Means.
Dillashaw Hands Viana First Loss
Team Alpha Male’s T.J. Dillashaw bounced Hugo Viana from the ranks of the unbeaten, as he dismissed the Brazilian with first-round punches in an entertaining undercard battle at 135 pounds. Dillashaw (8-1, 4-1 UFC) polished off his fourth consecutive victory 4:22 into round one.
Viana (7-1, 2-1), a semifinalist on Season 1 of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil,” had his moments, but Dillashaw refused to be denied. The 27-year-old Californian wobbled Viana with a pair of right hands, buried him with a volley of power punches and sealed it with an unanswered volley on the ground.
Njokuani Hook Dispatches Bowling
One Kick’s Gym representative Anthony Njokuani wiped out Roger Bowling with a clean left hook in the second round of their preliminary lightweight encounter. Njokuani (16-7, 3-3 UFC) finished it 2:52 into round two, posting his second win in three outings.
Stinging, accurate strikes carried Njokuani in the first frame, and Bowling’s situation did not improve much in the second. There, Bowling (11-4, 0-1 UFC) charged in wildly with punches, only to be met by the beautiful left hook that brought his afternoon to an end.
Olympian Palacio KOs Starks
Yoel Romero Palacio knocked out Arizona Combat Sports export Clifford Starks with a first-round flying knee and follow-up punches in an undercard duel at 185 pounds. Palacio (5-1, 1-0 UFC), a silver medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, drew it to a close 92 seconds into round one.
Starks (8-2, 1-2 UFC) collapsed to the canvas after being struck by the knee and was powerless to defend himself. The 35-year-old Palacio rendered him unconscious with a series of the thunderous lefts, wowing the crowd in his promotional debut.