Opponents turned training partners at Team Alpha Male, Clay Guida and Chad Mendes have gotten to know each other quite well over the years.
Trading punches and kicks at UFC 164 in 2013 wasn’t enough as eventually, Guida would make his way to Mendes’ longtime gym where the two would begin working together on a regular basis. They even go out and catch some fish together from time to time.
For the three-time UFC title challenger in Mendes, he made his return to action in July 2018 after sitting out for three years due to a suspension from USADA. He made a successful return by TKOing Myles Jury in the opening round.
Following that bout, the 34-year old had inched back into the title picture as he was matched with the rising contender, Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski as the pair battled it out at UFC 232 in December 2018.
Despite a good effort, it would end up being Volkanovski who came away victorious with a second-round TKO in the fight of the night.
Surprisingly, it would be revealed afterward that Mendes was going to hang up his gloves.
As loose as MMA retirements are, Guida isn’t exactly sold on his teammate walking away for good just yet.
“Yeah, I’ve heard rumors, man,” Guida told MMA Fighting. “That’s news to me but I don’t think you’ve seen the last of Chad ‘Money’ Mendes. He’s too powerful, too strong, too quick, and he’s too good of a champion. He’s too talented. So I’m thinkin’ after his baby he just had a week ago… I’m hoping we see him come back. I hope so, man. Chad’s fun to watch.”
As for Guida, the 51-fight veteran will be competing this Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro at UFC 237 when he takes on former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion, BJ Penn.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/9/2019