clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Augusto Mendes enters jiu-jitsu tournament before must-win fight in the UFC

UFC on FOX 24 photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC bantamweight Augusto Mendes is ready for a challenge outside the Octagon.

As he waits for his next fight to get booked by the UFC, “Tanquinho" will don his gi to compete in Moscow, Russia in an eight-man, 145-pound jiu-jitsu tournament at ACBJJ on July 16.

"It’s a way to stay active,” Mendes told MMA Fighting. "I love fighting, especially in jiu-jitsu, and I keep training with the gi all the time. Since I don’t have anything lined up in the UFC right now, I decided to train in the gi a little more and compete. I will compete at the ADCC in September, so this is also a way to test myself."

According to Mendes, ACBJJ’s pay structure is similar to an MMA promotion. Athletes get paid per match, plus a win bonus as they advance the bracket. If they submit an opponent, he says, they get paid even more.

The tournament will also feature Paulo Miyao, Leo Vieira, Isaque Paiva, Osvaldo Moizinho, Kim Terra, Gabriel Marangoni and Rafael Mansur.

"They have bonuses for best match, fastest submission and all that,” Mendes said. "I don't know exactly how much I’d make if I win, but I talked to Edwin Najmi, who won the 75kg title there, and he told me he made $40,000. So I’m hoping for that, too [laughs]."

If "Tanquinho" pockets $40,000 in Moscow, that’s more than what he currently makes in the UFC.

"That's why I’m going for it,” he said with a laugh.

Speaking of the UFC, Mendes knows he has his back against the wall in the promotion. Carrying a 1-2 run in the Octagon with his “Fight of the Night” win over Frankie Saenz sandwiched by losses to Aljamain Sterling and future champion Cody Garbrandt, the Brazilian is in a do-or-die situation.

"I have one fight left in my contract and I have to win,” Mendes said. "I only fought tough opponents in the UFC, I never picked opponents and won’t do it now. I know that they might cut me if I lose even thought I only fought tough opponents. I know what I can do and where I can go in this sport, so I just want to do a good camp and win.

"I know this is a very important fight to define my future,” he continued. "Re-signing with the UFC or not, I have to win. I usually fight better under pressure. I’m coming off a loss, last fight on my contract. They can cut me win or lose, but this fight will say a lot of my future inside or outside the UFC. It’s a very important fight for me."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting