Chad Mendes defeated Nik Lentz by unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 9 in Sacramento, Calif. on Saturday evening.
Mendes came on strong early, controlling a majority of the bout to earn judges' scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Mendes landed punches that wobbled his opponent early on in the fight, bloodying up Lentz's face as a result. Mendes also landed two takedowns fairly easily, controlling in top position on both occasions. A third takedown by Mendes in the last 30 seconds solidified the first round being in his favor.
Lentz attempted coming forward while striking, but Mendes avoided any significant impacts. Visibly slower than the first round, Mendes' offense appeared to change exclusively to takedown attempts. Lentz landed a looping punch a short while later, but Mendes continued scoring takedowns at will through the end of the round.
Lentz became more active on the feet in the third round. Mendes' takedowns began to get stuffed or nullified by being forced back to a standing fight. While beginning to land more punches, Lentz pushed forward but got hit with a flying knee and Mendes swarmed in for a guillotine-submission attempt. The choke didn't sink in, however, and time expired.
With the win, Mendes improves his record to 16-1 and is well on his way to another shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Mendes' sole loss is at the hands of the 145-pound champ.
(Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter)