Mendes overwhelmed Lamas early and went on to pound out his opponent for the stoppage at 2:45 of the opening frame.
“I needed to come in here and make a statement,” Mendes said of the win. “It means a lot.”
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Lamas worked to keep Mendes at bay, circling and throwing various kicks to keep him out of punching range. His game plan worked until Mendes found an opening, got in the pocket and landed a right hand that sent Lamas falling.
Mendes swarmed and threw a number of punches to his grounded opponent. Lamas worked back to his feet, but Mendes continued to pour on the punishment with punches in bunches. Lamas was in an obvious daze.
After eating another big shot, falling the canvas again and exposing his back, Lamas ate another couple of punches before the referee stopped the action.
In the coming months, Mendes’ teammate, Urijah Faber, will take on Frankie Edgar, and division champ Jose Aldo will defend his title against Conor McGregor. The victorious fighter will likely face one of the winners of those bouts, and he explained that his attention going forward will be focused on those match-ups.
“I’m going to be watching those fights very closely,” he said. “Whatever the UFC thinks I’m worthy of, I’m down.”
With the win on Saturday, Mendes improves his record to 17-2 and rebounds from his previous loss, a five-round decision to Aldo.
(Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter)