Nik Lentz had a bout scheduled against Dennis Bermudez, and could have stuck to his original arrangement -- but when the call came to fight Chad Mendes, a top contender in the featherweight division, he jumped at it. You know what they say about the best laid plans...
Mendes scored a unanimous decision victory over the confident -- and ultimately revitalized -- Nik Lentz at UFC on Fox 9. The final scores were 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 for "Money" Mendes, who put a stop to "The Carny's" three-fight winning streak since dropping down to 145 pounds.
The Team Alpha Male standout Mendes, who was battling flu-like symptoms, went gangbusters in the first round, using his speed and power to rock Lentz early and often. He stung Lentz several times with big right hands before taking him down. The same formula was repeated again later in the round, though he couldn't sustain the effort for the entire fight. In the end Mendes would score eight takedowns against Lentz, and outstrike him on the ground by a wide margin.
It wasn't pretty, but, Mendes got the job done against the tough former Minnesota Gopher wrestler Lentz, who had some moments himself in the second and third rounds. Lentz began to score on leg kicks and with occasional flurries, particularly in the third when it looked like he momentarily stunned Mendes. Near the end of the third round, however, Mendes hit Lentz with a flying knee that dropped him and gave him ground control until the final bell.
Mendes, who was hoping to make a statement for a case to fight for the 145-pound belt, moves to 16-1 overall, and has now rattled off five wins in a row since dropping his title shot against Jose Aldo at UFC 142. For Lentz (24-6-2), it marked his first loss as a featherweight.