Although they have never fought, UFC featherweights Chad “Money” Mendes (pictured) and Conor McGregor have quickly become mortal enemies. McGregor dubbing the small-but-deadly Mendes “Chad ‘Mini’ Mendes” helped ignite the fire.
Despite despising McGregor, it would be in Mendes’ best interest if the chatty Irishman beats reigning champion Jose Aldo in their highly-anticipated showdown at UFC 189. Having a new 145-pound champ is the ideal, and perhaps only, way for Mendes to find himself back in a championship affair.
Mendes is already down 0-2 to Aldo, with both defeats coming in convincing fashion.
“I’ve been trying to figure out who I would fight after this, if I were to go out there and beat Ricardo. The only thing that makes sense in my mind is back for that title,” Mendes stated after blasting fellow former top contender Ricardo Lamas on Saturday. “We’ve just got to wait to see what happens with Aldo-McGregor and Frankie [Edgar]-[Urijah] Faber. So we’ll see.
“I’m kind of just in a weird spot right now.”
If by “weird,” Mendes means having to root for archenemy McGregor on July 11, then yes, this is indeed weird.
Even if Mendes had ranking, timing, injuries and luck all on his side, it would be tough for the UFC to sell Aldo vs. Mendes III for $59.95 given what’s happened in the past between the two. Also, let’s not forget he just dropped a unanimous decision to Aldo two fights ago in October.
Having the self-proclaimed “King of Ireland” be the new king of the UFC featherweight division is Mendes’ fastest path back to a title tilt.
Of course, Edgar is also in the picture – the photobomber that Mednes wishes wasn’t there. If Edgar beats his BFF Faber on May 16, that would throw a massive monkey wrench into Mendes’ plans.
However, Edgar also has a recent loss to Aldo and has posted a goose egg in his past three championship bouts.
Frankly, having McGregor sit atop the throne would benefit most of the UFC’s featherweights – particularly Mendes and Edgar – because Aldo has essentially lapped the field.
Mendes has the most to gain because Edgar doesn’t have that white-hot beef burning with McGregor. We all know by now that the UFC loves to sell the sizzle, sometimes at the sacrifice of sense.
So there you have it. Add one more fanboy on the McGregor bandwagon. Mendes is “Mini,” so he shouldn’t take up too much space.