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Three-time UFC title challenger Chad Mendes has a date for his bare-knuckle boxing debut.
Mendes recently revealed he’s planning on making his BKFC debut on Feb. 19 (via Instagram).
MMA Junkie learned from a person with knowledge of the booking that Mendes is expected to face Joshuah Alvarez in a 155-pound bout at the event, which is expected to take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
That person requested anonymity because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. Promotion officials declined to comment when contacted by MMA Junkie.
A longtime member of Team Alpha Male, the 36-year-old Mendes (18-5 MMA) fought 14 times for the UFC between 2011 and 2018 following a four-fight stint in the WEC. Mendes fought twice for the UFC’s featherweight title and lost both times to future UFC Hall of Famer Jose Aldo – first in 2012, and then again in 2014 in that year’s MMA Junkie “Fight of the Year” in an epic five-round clash at UFC 179 in Brazil.
He would receive one more shot at a UFC title in 2015, stepping in on short notice to face Conor McGregor for an interim belt at UFC 189. Despite some early success in the contest, Mendes would ultimately suffer a second-round TKO loss.
Mendes retired from MMA following a 2018 “Fight of the Night” loss to current UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volanovski, though he has indicated a return to the octagon is possible.
Meanwhile, Alvarez has competed twice under the BKFC banner, most recently suffering a decision loss to Arthur Walcott-Ceesay in November. Alvarez made his BKFC debut this past June picking up a knockout win over Paul Teague.