Chad Mendes looked in great form early in his fight with Nik Lentz at ‘UFC On FOX 9’, appearing to have him badly hurt in the opening round, but then took his foot of the gas and used multiple takedowns to work his way to a decision victory.
Quite a cautious opening 30 seconds from both men, but then they start to engage and almost immediately Mendes has Lentz in big trouble as he gets rocked by a powerful punch.
Mendes attempts to flurry, but Lentz still has his bearings and remains standing. Lentz’s nose already looks slightly bloody though.
The action settles a little with Mendes deciding not go all out trying to finish this fight just yet. Soon after he does land a good takedown though.
Mendes can’t keep him down for too long though and Lentz works back up to his feet and tries to get aggressive with his own striking.
With aprox 90 seconds of the round to go Mendes lands another solid takedown. Not much happening from Mendes again, and Lentz is crafty enough to again find a way back upright.
Not for long though as Mendes gets another takedown to end the round.
30 seconds into the round Lentz lands a little flurry of strikes that land and Mendes covers up.
Mendes starts to work some leg kicks and Lentz responds in kind. Nice jab from Mendes, and again. Exchanging kicks again now.
Big right pretty much blocked by Lentz. Then Mendes scores another powerful takedown, though it’s the briefest yet with Lentz almost immediately back up.
A few punches land for Lentz and Mendes goes for the takedown again. Back into Lentz’s guard again and Mendes isn’t doing anything with the position – strange.
Lentz does well to use his feet to push Mendes off and gets enough space to stand up. It’s a familiar story though as Mendes puts him on his back once again and then continues to offer essentially no offense on top as the round comes to an end.
Lentz starts the third round brighter with a few kicks landing. A couple of punches land for Lentz and Mendes seems to slip to the mat and gets straight back up.
Lentz pressing forward trying to be the aggressor here. Mendes swoops in for a takedown, but this time Lentz manages to stuff it.
Mendes output has really slowed a lot since the opening round. He does land a nice kick to the side of the body. An eye poke to Lentz forces a very quick stoppage and then they are right back to it.
Kick from Lentz lands and Mendes uses it to take him down, but Lentz is immediately back up. Lentz lands a good body kick and again it’s caught and used to dump him to the mat. Lentz kicks Mendes off, but Mendes gets right back on him. He’s just unable to keep Lentz down.
Back on the feet Mendes tries a flying knee that knocks Lentz to the mat. Mendes attempting a guillotine in the final minute, but Lentz seems ok. He lets it go and they get back upright in the final seconds of the fight with Mendes threatening with strikes.
No real doubts about the winner, Mendes earns a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x2, 29-28).