When the referee prompted Chad Mendes and Nik Lentz to get it on in their featherweight bout on the main card of last night's (Sat., Dec. 14, 2013) UFC on Fox 9: "Johnson vs. Benavidez 2" event at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California, the former took the order seriously.
"Money" came storming out of the gate, nearly finishing the bout in the opening minutes. That may have actually been the game plan, too.
That's because Mendes came into the bout battling sickness, according to UFC President Dana White, who noticed early on that the Team Alpha Male fighter ran out of gas fairly early.
Is it just me or does Mendes seem gassed?— Dana White (@danawhite) December 15, 2013
He quickly got an answer for this after the bout concluded:
He just told Joe Silva he's got the flu\cold and felt like shit tonight.— Dana White (@danawhite) December 15, 2013
Later, in his interview with Fox Sports 1, White praised Mendes' performance after learning he wasn't operating at 100-percent:
"I think tonight is one of those type of fights... I like Chad Mendes. I like the way he fights. And after the first round I said, 'wow, is it just me or is this kid gassed?' And it was completely evident but that explosive first two and a half minutes is Chad Mendes, the way he fights. I thought tonight was actually a good fight for him. He overcame adversity, he didn't feel well, and he still looked good."
So while Mendes may not be next in line for a featherweight title shot, he certainly didn't hurt his chances last night.