Chad Mendes just sent notice to the featherweight division that he’s back in a big way.
The former three-time UFC title contender returned after more than two years out of the cage and needed less than one round to dispatch Myles Jury by TKO at UFC Fight Night in Boise.
It was back in 2016 when Mendes got popped by USADA for a doping violation and after admitting to using a psoriasis cream that contained a banned substance, the Team Alpha Male fighter didn’t contest his two year sentence.
Instead, Mendes used the time off to allow his body and mind to recover after a rigorous schedule kept while competing at the top of the UFC’s featherweight division.
The result was a fresher Mendes who stepped into the Octagon on Saturday night and looked better than ever as he dished out a savage beat down to finish Jury in the first round.
After sizing up his much taller opponent in the early going, Mendes saw an opening when he unleashed a right hand that forced Jury to move backwards, which was the perfect set up to his powerful left hook that came crashing in like a sledgehammer.
The punch that set it up. @ChadMendes #UFCBoise pic.twitter.com/nagOKsJg6r
— UFC (@ufc) July 15, 2018
Jury crumbled to the mat but still survived for the moment as Mendes followed him to the ground where he began unleashing powerful shot after powerful shot to look for the finish.
With Jury doing nothing more than covering his head to weather the storm, the referee had no choice but to jump in and stop the fight as Mendes earned the victory at 2:52 into the first round.
“I’m back!” Mendes shouted after his hand was raised following the TKO in Idaho.
Mendes will immediately become a contender in the UFC’s featherweight division once again following his win as he occupied a spot in the top five rankings throughout his career. With Max Holloway at the top of the division, Mendes has a fresh start with his sights set on gold now that he’s back fighting full time once again.
“Brock Lesnar where you at?” Mendes joked when asked who he wanted to face next. “I’m just super excited to be back. Anybody in the top five, give it to me.”