By Jamie McAllister
Chad Mendes in an interview with MMAWeeklyRadio.
Chad Mendes went (30-0) undefeated record in his senior year at Cal Poly as the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country at 141 pounds.
In the NCAA finals he was facing No. 6 seed J. Jaggers from The Ohio State University and what happened next would stay with Mendes forever. Jaggers defeated Mendes on points (5-2) and took the 2008 NCAA Championship.
In mixed martial arts competition Mendes was a perfect (11-0) going into the title bout against Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo at UFC 142 which would ultimately be his first MMA loss.
Mendes states that he hates losing but also uses these types of experiences as motivations to make him better whether it be Wrestler or MMA Fighter.
“I went undefeated that whole year, that was my senior year, went undefeated that whole year, lost that match, and I haven’t lost anything since that match. That’s two times I’ve lost at anything that I’ve done competitively as a sport in four years. It’s been a while, but it’s those things that kind of keep you grounded. Keeps your toes on the ground, keeps you sharp,”
“It’s a tough situation, I hate losing anything. I’m super competitive. A lot of the guys on our team, T.J. Dillashaw is one of these types too, but it’s something that I absolutely hate. It kind of eats me up inside knowing that I made a mistake and just being that close to that belt.”
In a competitive first round at UFC 142 Mendes ran into a perfectly timed knee knocking him out.
“I’ve looked back on that fight with Aldo and looked at the mistake I made, and it’s on my mind and hopefully it doesn’t happen again,”
One thing Mendes does not want to let happen is let the loss against Aldo define him and he does not want to be the guy who freezes when the stakes are high.
“I try to look at the positives. I mean I got in there and fought one of the best pound-for-pound fighters and truthfully I feel like I was winning that round, so I felt like my cardio was good, it was the best I’d ever felt for a fight, both mentally and physically, and I’m taking that kind of training the stuff I learned in that camp, the mind preparation, and studying my opponents and transferring that now to all my fights,”
“It sucks that I lost, but I performed to where I needed to be and where I wanted to be, but I just got caught.”
Mendes next faces Cody McKenzie at UFC 148, McKenzie is making the drop to Featherweight for the first time and 11 of his 13 victories come via guillotine. However Mendes is focused and plans to make a statement to get back into title contention.
“I’ve just got to go out there and beat the crap out of him, hands down,” said Mendes. “I’ve got to finish this fight. It’s something that I want to do; it’s something that I’m training really hard to do.”
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