After his technical-knockout win, Mendes found himself in a place where his focus will be on four fighters: Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, Frankie Edgar and Mendes’ teammate, Urijah Faber. Those four will duke it out in the coming months and Mendes will face one of the winners, maybe even Faber.
Now’s the time to figure things out.
“I’m going to have to talk to the UFC and see, but I don’t want to sit out for another year,” Mendes said during the post-fight press conference. “I had just one fight last year. I don’t want to have another year of just one fight. I’m turning 30 this year. I’m only going to be doing this for another six, seven years. I’m trying to make as much money as I can, getting in there and putting a pounding on my body. I have to talk to [the UFC]. I’m going to be watching the Frankie-Faber fight and the Aldo-McGregor fight very closely. Just hoping I can get back in there and fight for that title soon.”
Mendes and Faber are teammates at Team Alpha Male in California. The camp has had a general guideline that says teammates don’t fight each other, but if Faber beats Edgar next month they might not have a choice in the matter.
The other option is for Mendes to do what Faber did a few years ago and drop a weight class. The bantamweight division is full of fights for Mendes, and the move there would prevent any awkward conversations between him and Faber, who just returned to featherweight for the bout with Edgar.
It’s a move that Mendes said he’s thought about, but there have been reservations with following through with it.
“I always talk about possibly going down to [135 pounds] until about two days out from making 145. Then I say ‘screw that,'” he said. “That’s something I think I can probably do, but I’d have to just change up my camp a lot as far as what I’m doing, diet-wise and training. It’s not something I really want to do, but I think I possibly could. But if there’s a superfight and the money’s right, I would definitely think about doing it. I have to sit down and talk with the UFC. My managers have to sit down and talk with us and figure everything out. I’m kind of just in a weird spot right now.”
Going down to 135 pounds might be the key to avoiding a fight with a teammate and friend in Faber. The only other thing that makes sense, Mendes said, is to get back into a title fight.
Either way, there’s a waiting period before there’s a way out of his “weird spot.”
“I’ve been trying to figure out who I would fight after this,” Mendes explained. “The only thing that make sense in my mind is to be back for that title. We just got to wait and see what happens with Aldo-McGregor and Frankie and Faber. We’ll see.”
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