Chad Mendes isn’t used to losing.
He lost just once his senior year wrestling at Cal Poly. In MMA he won his first 11 bouts, but then featherweight champion Jose Aldo ruined his perfect record in January by scoring a knockout with just one second left in the first round.
“That was tough,” Mendes told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I felt alone. I felt bummed. The goal was to get in there and win that fight, and it just didn’t happen. That was the second loss that I’ve had in like five years, and it’s just tough to deal with … sitting there and replaying that knee over and over in my mind and just kind of kicking myself in the ass for it.”
Mendes will be looking to get back on track Saturday when he meets Cody McKenzie at UFC 148.
“It’s a fight that I need to clear my mind with,” Mendes said. “… I need to feel good and get back in that W column. I think this is the perfect fight for me.”
McKenzie is coming off a victory via guillotine choke over Marcus LeVesseur in May. It’s no secret that the guillotine is his specialty -- his record is full of wins courtesy of the choke.
“He’s got a great guillotine choke, but I’ve trained with Joseph [Benavidez] and Urijah [Faber] since day one and those guys have some of the best guillotine chokes out of anyone in the world,” Mendes said. “It’s not anything new to me. Obviously he does it a little bit different. We’ve worked on that throughout this camp, and it’s something we’ve really focused on because I knew that’s his golden move and that’s what he’s catching everyone with.”
Mendes is a major favorite in the fight, but he also considers it a very dangerous bout in part due to the fact that he’s supposed to win. He doesn’t want to just win, though.
“I’m just looking to get in there and finish this fight, honestly, as fast as I can,” Mendes said. “I want to make a statement to everyone in the UFC and all my fans and to myself. This is just something that I want to do. That’s the goal.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:24:26).