In his WEC debut, Chad Mendes showed off strong wrestling credentials in a 30-27 unanimous decision over Erik Koch at WEC 47.
In the first round, Mendes had a hard time getting started but finally landed a takedown near the end of the round. When Koch tried to open up with punches in the second round, Mendes again went for a big takedown. The fight remained on the ground for the rest of the round with both Mendes and Koch landing punches from the guard.
Koch cut Mendes over the eye with a kick to the temple to start the third, with Mendes bleeding all over Koch as Mendes took Koch down. The gash was bad enough that the ref stopped the bout to check his cut, but they continued on.
Mendes landed another takedown, but as they started to get back to their feet, Mendes inadvertently poked Koch in the eye. After Koch recovered, Mendes again took the fight to the ground.
Mendes was a Division I NCAA finalist wrestler, and definitely used those skills to secure the win. He apologized to the crowd for not making it a more exciting bout.