Chad Mendes is making a comeback from retirement soon, but it won’t be in the Octagon as he recently signed for bareknuckle boxing promotion BKFC instead.
There’s a twist in the tale though as he’s now revealed that he’s actually still under contract with the UFC, but has their blessing to go and compete in the BKFC ring.
“They threw out some big numbers and I’ve always wanted to try boxing,” Mendes told ‘MMA On Sirius’. “There was actually a little bit of talk with De La Hoya, even, just getting in there and doing some boxing with him.
“But here’s the tricky part is I’m still under UFC contract. I still have fights on my contract, and so the UFC (is) basically allowing me to go make some money doing this bare-knuckle, and basically I still have a home with the UFC if I ever wanted to come back.
“Obviously, my contract at the time of signing it was four, five years ago or something like that. It’s not a very good contract anymore. At the time, it was pretty good, but I would definitely need to re-talk and re-figure that sucker out.”
It’s highly unusual for a UFC Fighter to be allowed to compete outside of the promotion while still under contract, and so Mendes is grateful that they were willing to go along with it on this occasion.
“I thought they were just gonna say, ‘Screw you, not happening.’ But I’ve always had a good relationship with the UFC.
“I felt I always tried to go above and beyond doing all the media and doing everything that led up to fights and I always trained my ass off and went in there and just competed as hard as I possibly could.
“It is awesome to see them kind of recognize that and allow this to happen.”
Mendes last fight in the Octagon was back in 2018 when he suffered a TKO loss to the man who would go on to become the division’s champion, Alexander Volkanovski.