Chad Mendes has had about two and a half years to think about getting another crack at Frankie Edgar.
Mendes lost to Edgar via first-round knockout at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale in December 2015. Six months later, Mendes was suspended by USADA after he says he unknowingly took a psoriasis medication which included a banned substance.
So that’s a lot of time to dwell on his most recent loss. And as it turns out, Mendes’ impending return comes at a time in which it very well might make sense for “Money” to rematch Edgar.
With UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway set to meet Brian Ortega at UFC 226 in July, and Edgar without a dance partner at the moment, Mendes would like a crack at avenging his loss.
“I honestly would like to get that Frankie fight back,” Mendes said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “Frankie is obviously a top-level guy and he’s a guy that I know I can beat. That fight would be great. I honestly feel like any of the guys I match up with in the top ten, I match up great.”
Mendes comes off of a USADA suspension on June 10. Booking out his return fight is a little bit tricky. He’s not getting a title shot after two losses and the suspension, Jose Aldo is expected to fight Jeremy Stephens on July 28, and both Josh Emmett and Darren Elkins, who are ranked in the UFC’s official top-10, are Team Alpha Male associates.
TAM has a well-documented history of drama among fighters who compete in the same weight class. That’s why Mendes says that he’s gone out of his way to discuss the situation with his Sacramento teammates, and he believes they’re all on the same page: These guys aren’t going to fight each other unless there’s a title on the line.
“It sucks now that Team Alpha Male is kind of taking over the featherweight division,” Mendes said. “I think we have four or five guys in top 15. We’ve already sat and talked. I told these guys, I love you all and I don’t want to fight you unless it’s for a title, but if it’s for a belt, we’re gonna scrap. I think everyone is on the same page as far as that goes. We’re not going to fight unless it’s for a belt. That’s kind of where we’re at at this point.”