Former UFC No. 1 featherweight contender Chad Mendes has been publicly named as a suspect in a 40-person bar brawl that broke out in a Hanford, California establishment named the Lacy Inn Bar last Saturday night. According to a story published in the Hanford Sentinel, a fight began at about 1:18 am, and when police arrived, Mendes was recognized as one of the participants, refused a police order to leave, and later, struck another patron. Police then chased Mendes but could not catch him, and have since been searching for him.
That's the police version of events. Mendes, through his management, has released a statement denying the allegations against him.
Here is the statement released to MMA Fighting through his manager, Jeff Meyer, who also happens to be a practicing attorney.
On Friday afternoon, Chad Mendes was shocked and surprised by the allegations contained in an article published on an Internet news site. While Chad acknowledges that an incident occurred last Saturday in Hanford, he contends that the majority of the facts pertaining to him in the story are absolutely false.
Attempts were immediately made by Chad's representatives to contact personnel at the Sheriff's Department on Friday afternoon. Despite these repeated attempts, Chad's representatives have not received any response from the Sheriff's Department at the time of this release.
Chad denies any wrongdoing and is very upset by the allegations contained in the story. He will fully cooperate with the Sheriff's Department and looks forward to clearing his name.
The King's County Sheriff's office told the paper that they have made multiple attempts to reach Mendes, and that they have yet to reach him. They also said that because of his professional fight training, he could face a charge of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the fight.
The 27-year-old Mendes is 12-1 in his pro career and has fought for UFC parent company Zuffa since 2010. Mendes is 3-1 in his UFC tenure, with his only loss coming to division champion Jose Aldo at UFC 142. In his most recent fight, he knocked out Cody McKenzie in just 31 seconds at UFC 148.