Chad Mendes has been out of action for a while now. And boy has he been patient. He hasn’t fought since UFC 232, more than three years ago. In July 2019, he declared his retirement from mixed martial arts. And it feels like a year has passed since Mendes signed with BKFC, even though it’s only been six months.
On Feb 19, Mendes, 36, will make his debut against Joshua Alvarez at “BKFC: Knucklemania II.” The former UFC featherweight contender sees his forthcoming battle as an opportunity to scratch his competitive hunger. But, he’s not sure where he’ll be fighting next.
Mendes stated he doesn’t need to fight for money and that he’s doing well for himself with business initiatives in the outdoor and food industries. He has numerous fights left on his BKFC contract, but if he doesn’t like his first battle, he won’t continue.
Mendes, on the other hand, is pleased with the money he’ll earn for appearing in “Knucklemania II,” as it far exceeds anything he’s made in his more than seven years with the UFC.
“I’ll put it this way: I just saw what the UFC heavyweight champion of the world just got paid, and it’s gonna be more than that,” – Chad Mendes on his BKFC debut payout.
“It’s one of those things that’s gonna either be a lot of fun, or I’m gonna hate it,” Mendes told MMA Junkie.
“I’ll put it this way: I just saw what the UFC heavyweight champion of the world just got paid, and it’s gonna be more than that,” Mendes said. “It’s pretty crazy. I feel blessed for sure.”
Mendes is referring to Francis Ngannou’s $600,000 payday after retaining his heavyweight title with a win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. Mendes was paid $87,000 for his final UFC fight, a loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232 in December 2018 (plus a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus).
Mendes believes it would be difficult for him to return given the present state of UFC fighter compensation compared to what he’ll be paid by BKFC in addition to other sponsorships.
“Man, it’s very profitable,” Mendes said of fighting for BKFC. “I’m getting paid well for the fight, and I’m doubling that with the sponsors alone. It’s crazy. That was such a big money maker for us in the UFC (before the exclusive Reebok deal). Obviously not everybody, but people who knew what they were doing and could promote and actually get out there and do what they needed to do to get those, it was great.
“It’s a great way to make a big income without having to do much, just getting logos on shorts, helping these companies that I already work with. I’ve worked with a lot of companies in the outdoor industry for the last six to eight years, and it’s just expanding our relationship and getting something new. Instead of just social media stuff, now we’ve got social media, a fight platform, and some cool marketing on shorts. I think it’s just a win-win for everybody. It’s exciting, the ability to do what we were able to do in this fight, for sure.”
In the end, Mendes is pleased with his decision to leave the UFC.
“I think so,” Mendes said. “Obviously if I’d stuck with it, I’d obviously be making more money now. But from when I left until now, how much more damage would I have been putting myself through for how much more money? I think it was a smart move. This is a really cool opportunity that kind of fills that competitive gap that I still have, and it’s a great way to make money in a very short amount of time.”
Check out the full interview below: