Chad Mendes is returning to combat sports, but his next fight won’t be inside the Octagon.
The former UFC title challenger revealed on "The Joe Rogan Experience” that he has signed a multi-fight contract with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Mendes is expected to compete at 155 pounds and has targeted Chandler, Ariz., on Oct. 22 for his BKFC debut.
“I just signed a big contract – I’m coming back to fighting,” Mendes told Rogan. “But I’m not coming back to MMA. … I’m coming back to boxing. I want to try something different. I think we’re going to throw some bareknuckle in there, bro – just mix it up and get real crazy. This is something that’s kind of been in the works for probably a year now.”
According to a report from MMAjunkie.com, the contract is “the most lucrative deal” of Mendes’ fighting career. The Team Alpha Male product had existing fights on his UFC contract but was granted his release by the Las Vegas-based promotion to sign with BKFC.
Mendes officially announced his retirement in 2019, some seven months after a second-round technical knockout loss to future featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232.Mendes is 18-5 as a pro in MMA, with victories over the likes of Ricardo Lamas, Clay Guida, Darren Elkins and Cub Swanson during his tenure. He exited the UFC upon losing four of his final six bouts.