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WEC 52: Chad Mendes Stays Undefeated, Beats Javier Vazquez

Chad Mendes is ready to enter the UFC with an undefeated record after beating Javier Vazquez by unanimous decision at WEC 52.

Mendes used his superior wrestling to grind out a decision against Vazquez, with all three judges scoring it 30-27 for Mendes. The win gives Mendes a 9-0 record, and he has to be considered one of the top featherweights in the UFC, just as soon as the UFC absorbs the WEC's featherweights in 2011.

The first round went pretty much as expected: Mostly on the ground, with Mendes using his wrestling to control from the top, and Vazquez using his jiu jitsu and his very active guard to attempt to threaten from the bottom. It was a round that you could easily argue Vazquez deserved to win, although the judges in MMA almost always award the round to the guy who's on top, and that's exactly what they did here.

The second round was essentially the same, although Mendes livened things up by doing a front flip to pass Vazquez's guard and get on top of him. Still, it was basically a stalemate on the ground and referee Herb Dean stood them up near the end of the round, as neither man could get much of an advantage.

The early part of the third round had more striking exchanges than the first two rounds, but after a couple of minutes they returned to their familiar position on the ground, with Mendes on top. A brief stand-up led to another exchange that left Vazquez with a cut on the right side of his face, and then they were back on the ground with Mendes on top once again.

The fight wasn't a great one, but it was a good one for Mendes to take a step forward in his MMA career. He's in for some big fights in the Octagon next year.

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