Mendes, a three-time UFC title challenger who successfully returned from a 31-month layoff in July with a TKO of Myles Jury, faces Volkanovski, who has won 15 straight including his first five UFC outings, on the main card.
Check out the UFC 232 live blog below.
Round 1: The third man in the cage for this fight is Mark Smith. Lots of feinting from both men to start. Volkanovski flicking out high kicks. They’re trading kicks to the lead leg. There’s a quick flurry of punches in close, neither fighter landing anything substantial. 1-2 partially connects for Mendes. Mendes closes the distance and throws an uppercut, his winging follow-up punches miss. First takedown attempt by Mendes is blocked. Volkanovski lunges in with a straight left and then lands a right hand. 1-2 for Mendes and a low kick, both guys smiling at each other. Mendes gets in on a double leg takedown and he scores. Volkanovski avoids damage and stands up, but Mendes catches him with an uppercut as they separate. Body punch for Volkanovski, then a knee in the clinch. He backs Mendes up with a 1-2 combo.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Mendes.
Round 2: Volkanovski pumping his jab as he advances. Jumping knee by Mendes, but he gets a glancing left hand off of it. Mendes ducks in and Volkanovski catches him with a counter-right. Big right hand by Mendes lands down the middle, square on Volkanovski’s chin. He’s following up with straight punches and Volkanovski has to turtle up, he recovers though. Volkanovski answers with a shot of his own that lands right on the chin of Mendes, who has his hands down. Volume picking up for both fighters. Volkanovski with a clean 1-2 combination, he’s backing Mendes up against the fence and scoring. Mendes explodes for a double and gets another takedown. Volkanovski puts his back to the fence and stands up fast. There’s a cut above Volkanovski’s left eye. Volkanovki’s jab is giving Mendes a lot of problems. He gets Mendes off-balance with a leg kick and lands several follow-up punches. Mendes with a shot from long distance and he gets Volkanovski down in the middle of the cage. Quick back take by Mendes. Volkanovski out after a scramble. He has Mendes against the fence again and lands a huge elbow. Shot to the body crumples Mendes and Volkanovski cracks him up top as he’s going down. Mendes is doubled over in pain and this one is over.