And as he prepares to take on perhaps the toughest challenge of his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career in the form of Chad Mendes at this weekend's (Dec. 14, 2013) UFC on FOX 9 event, his confidence level is sky high.
But in the eyes of Mendes, that confidence is coming off as cockiness. And as "Money" said during yesterday's (Dec. 12, 2013) UFC on FOX 9 pre-fight press conference, being "cocky" is something "The Carny" hasn't earned yet.
"His demeanor, the way he thinks he's going to run through me. He's cocky. I just don't like it. No (He hasn't earned the right to be cocky). I don't think he's fought anybody of my caliber. He's never fought anybody as athletic; he's got a big head on his shoulders and he talks a lot. But we're going to see Saturday night what happens. He's going to fight someone that's a true No. 1 contender and he's going to feel it."
The two had a little back-and-forth squabble during the conference (which you can see here), and UFC President Dana White, for one, says he appreciated Nik's confidence and applauded him for not being shy about it.
Since making the drop down to featherweight, Lentz has reeled of three straight wins in a nine-month span. So you can see why he feels the right to puff his chest out a little. That's a far cry from the two back-to-back losses he suffered to Evan Dunham and Mark Bocek when he was competing at lightweight.
However, when you compare Lentz' success to that of Mendes, it pales in comparison, seeing as how Chad has been "Money" in his previous four bouts, winning them all by knockout (KO), three of them in the very first round.
But when the two square up in the center of the cage in Sacramento, California, all the stats and all the trash talk will mean squat, as they still have to let their fists (and kicks) do the real talking and the proving.
Are you pumped for this fight, yet?