Former UFC title challenger Chad Mendes announces retirement

Ken Pishna
MMA Weekly
Chad Mendes
Chad Mendes

Chad Mendes has had some ups and downs throughout his mixed martial arts career – mostly ups – but has decided it is time to step away from the Octagon.

Though he's only 34 years of age, Mendes has taken a hard look at his UFC tenure and determined it is time to move on. Mendes has had a spectacular career, but he also has another passion that he's delved into which is doing well, a hunting and guiding service called Finz & Featherz Guide Service.

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"I just want to say thank you to all my fans and everyone that tuned in to watch me battle! With 29 years of competing and 11 years in the MMA game, I feel it’s time for the next chapter in my life! It’s been an incredible journey with so many life lesson along the way. I feel extremely blessed to be living this life I live and can’t wait to see what the next chapter has in store for me!" Mendes wrote on Instagram.

That next chapter is sure to include even more involvement of his guide service.

"I will continue to hustle like I always have. I will continue to grow Finz & Featherz Guide Service and enjoy all the new adventures that come with it! I am truly grateful for all the love and support you all have shown. Thank you and let’s keep wrecking this place!!!!"

Mendes is one of several fighters that emerged from the central California fight scene in Lemoore, where he went undefeated under the Palace Fighting Championship and Tachi Palace Fights banners. He parlayed that into a tenure in World Extreme Championships, where he went 4-0 before the WEC was scooped up by the UFC. He made the transition to the Octagon with teammates like Urijah Faber.

He has spent the last eight years in the UFC, where he fought for a version of the UFC featherweight title on three occasions, but lost twice to Jose Aldo and once to Conor McGregor in those attempts.

Mendes was sidelined for two years recently, as he was flagged for using the banned substance GHRP-6. GHRP-6 is a topical cream that Mendes used to treat psoriasis, but it is also a growth hormone release stimulator, which is banned under the UFC's Anti-Doping Policy.

Mendes owned up to his mistake and sat out for two years. "I didn't do my homework and that was a big mistake. I own it and I'm going to pay for it."

He returned to the Octagon on July 14, 2018, where he defeated Myles Jury via first-round TKO stoppage at UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Ivanov. Mendes next fought Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232 on Dec. 28, but lost that bout via TKO stoppage in the second round. 

Mendes has since been contemplating his future, but finally decided that enough is enough, and announced his retirement late Tuesday night.

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