The Hanford, California native rebounded well from his first professional loss. In January at UFC 142, Mendes was KO'd by featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Aldo caught him with one of the more gruesome knee strikes you'll see and it was a devastating defeat for Mendes.
The 5'6" dynamo showed no mental effects from that setback and he demolished the much taller McKenzie.
McKenzie owned a six-inch height advantage over Mendes, but Chad chopped that slender tree down quickly.
He caught an ill-fated kick attempt and countered with a lunging right to the body. He took McKenzie to the mat and landed a series of vicious hammer-fists to end it. Mendes is a superb wrestler and he showed that again last night.
After a startling win like this, it's only a matter of time before Mendes works his way back around to another title shot. Aldo was supposed to defend against Eric Koch at UFC 149 on July 21, but he had to pull out due to an injury.
Mendes wasn't making a horrible account of himself against Aldo before he was stopped, and at this point, I still consider him the second-best featherweight in the world.
An inactive Aldo may give Mendes the opportunity to score another impressive win some time soon. He could technically fight at UFC 149 or 150, considering he expended very little energy against McKenzie.
By the time Aldo comes back, Mendes may have already made a strong case to be next in line for a shot—if Aldo defeats Koch.
Either way, Mendes is certainly on the comeback trail and it started with a bang last night.
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