Chad Mendes (9-0) continued his undefeated record with a unanimous decision win over Javier Vazquez (15-5) at WEC 52 in Las Vegas on Thursday night. All three judges saw it 30-27 for Mendes.
As expected, Mendes used his wrestling skills to dominate the first round. Though Vazquez used the rubber guard to keep Mendes from passing card, Mendes punished him throughout the round with punches and elbows.
Mendes started out the second round with a flying knee and punches. Sensing he was in trouble, Vazquez jumped guard and again used the rubber guard to control from the bottom. Mendes tried to slam Vazquez out of the rubber guard several times, but Vazquez stayed calm and stayed active on the ground. After Vazquez reversed and returned to his feet, Mendes tried to somersault the fight to the ground. Vazquez defended well, but then Mendes did another roll and ended up on top.
In the third round, Mendes showed that his conditioning is among the best in his division. "Money" didn't slow for a second. He took down Vazquez early and beat on him for the rest of the round. In the final minutes, he opened a gushing cut below Vazquez's eye.
Mendes was a division I All-American wrestler at Cal Poly, and joined Urijah Faber's camp not long after graduation. In his ninth fight, he showed how his skills have evolved.