Chad Mendes walked into the octagon as a -840 favorite, which is unheard of. The bookies were apparently right in labeling him as that heavy of a favorite, but it was for all the wrong reasons. We’re used to seeing Mendes dominate and destroy his opponents, but he was perfectly content with taking Lentz down and laying on top of him to kill time. By the end of the fight, Mendes had landed eight takedowns.
Mendes and Lentz had a long feeling out process and they switched who had octagon control a couple of times. Mendes caught Lentz with a right hook after he set it up with a left, and Lentz dropped to the ground. Mendes jumped on Lentz but couldn’t capitalize as Lentz escaped danger and gained composure. Lentz did seem to be in serious trouble, though.
They took to the center of the octagon again where Mendez took Lentz down with ease. Lentz attempted to catch Mendes in a guillotine, but it was useless. Lentz was rocking a lot of facial damage late in round one. Mendes took Lentz down again but let him up and popped him with a nice one-two combination. By the end of the round, Mendes took Lentz down three times with no issues. The first round easily went to the home-town boy.
Round two opened with Nick Lentz getting softened up with leg kicks and Mendes breathing heavily. It seemed as if Mendes abandoned some of the more dangerous strikes to gain composure. Lentz caught Mendes with a short hook, but it was ineffective and Mendes went back to dominating the fight with a fourth takedown. Lentz started to gain some momentum after connecting with a straight and a hook, but Mendes went right back to the takedown game. The round ended with Mendes on top of Lentz for the sixth time.
Nick Lentz started off the third round strong. Lentz switched stances a lot and changed levels, favoring kicks to the body. Mendes’ hands were low in the middle of the round which indicated how tired he was. Lentz landed a body shot but left himself susceptible for another takedown. Lentz was able to launch Mendes off the top of him and made it back to his feet, which was impressive. Lentz dished out punishment and looked to be winning the round but Mendes tripped Lentz and hopped on top of him. Mendes mounted Lentz and tried to end the fight with a guillotine, but Lentz was never in any real trouble and he was back to his feet with only five seconds left in the fight.
Nick Lentz took the third round, but it was only because Chad Mendes seemed to be coasting. At the end of the second round, Mendes asked “I’m up two to nothing, right?”. Mendes did not fight like himself tonight.
Regardless, he was rewarded the judge’s decision victory.
Chad Mendes defeated Nick Lentz by way of Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)