Now that Chad Mendes has returned to the Octagon and re-established himself as a top featherweight contender, the question is, who will he fight next? Would he fight teammate Josh Emmett? Yes and no.
Mendes fought for the first time in well over two years last month, and took out Myles Jury in the opening round. It was a huge win for “Money”, not only because it was his first bout back since his USADA suspension, but because it demonstrated he remains a considerable force at 145.
So, as this is being written, Mendes is ranked #5 in the featherweight division, and it remains to be seen when or who he’ll fight next. Recently Mendes spoke with Bloody Elbow, and he was asked if he’d consider fighting Team Alpha Male teammate, Mr. Emmett, at some point moving forward.
“Yeah, man. It’s tough. We have a lot of featherweights that are working their way up. Me and Josh being right there, and teammates, obviously it sucks, but we’ve talked and unless it’s for a belt, it doesn’t make sense for us to fight. There’s so many other matchups that can happen for both of us, outside of us fighting each other. The only thing that’s going to happen, is that if we fight each other without the belt, we’re just knocking one of our chances of fighting for the title off. So, there’s plenty of matchups that can happen without us fighting. Now, if it’s for the belt, we’ve talked, and may the best man win. We still love each other.”
Emmett is currently ranked #8, so, when you consider that there’s plenty of other contenders to fight, obviously the teammates don’t have to cross paths anytime soon. But, as Mendes noted, that could change if they both continue to climb the ranks and a title fight gets tabled.
Emmett aside, Mendes was also asked about the recent call out he received from Alexander Volkanovski. Mendes believes he matches up well with the rising 145’er, but he repeated that he doesn’t believe he has much to win by facing Volkanovski. Right now, he’s right. The latter is ranked #11.
Mendes also said he’s willing to wait out until early 2019, in terms of securing a bout that makes sense.