After plenty of speculation in recent months, Chad Mendes is officially calling it a career.
The former UFC featherweight title challenger confirmed his decision to ESPN.com on Tuesday. Rumors of Mendes’ retirement first began to circulate following his loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232 this past December.
"The main reason I didn't say something sooner was there were some loose ends I wanted to tie up," Mendes told ESPN. "I wanted to step away for a little bit and let everything settle, and just make sure my feelings didn't change, as I was coming right out of a training camp and a fight.
"And they haven't, man. It's just that time for me. I have no regrets. I had an amazing time, being able to come right out of college wrestling and join an amazing team. All these guys at Team Alpha Male are like brothers to me. It was fun. But I always said, right off the bat, I'll probably fight until 35 and reassess. My wife and I spoke before this last training camp, and we knew going in this was the last one.”
Mendes has informed the UFC of his retirement and has withdrawn his name from the USADA drug-testing pool.
“Money” began his professional career with 11 consecutive triumphs, a stretch that saw him transition from World Extreme Cagefighting to the UFC. In his 12th appearance, Mendes suffered a first-round knockout loss to Jose Aldo in a featherweight title bout at UFC 142. An ensuing five-bout winning streak resulted in another title shot, but he dropped a unanimous verdict to Aldo in a rematch at UFC 179. Mendes had one more opportunity to capture UFC gold but was stopped by Conor McGregor in an interim title tilt at UFC 189.
The 34-year-old former collegiate wrestler ends his career with an 18-5 mark. He owns notable wins over the likes of Myles Jury, Ricardo Lamas, Clay Guida, Darren Elkins and Cub Swanson, among others.