Two-time Featherweight title contender, Chad Mendes, was tonight (Sat., Dec. 29, 2018) looking to build off a big win this past summer at the expense of the surging Alexander Volkanovski, kicking off UFC 232’s pay-per-view (PPV) main card inside The Forum in Inglewood, California.
And it might be some time before he can make it a third, as Volkanovski went toe-to-toe, shot-for-shot with Mendes until he finished him with strikes in the second round.
Volkanovski got the action started with a high kick that Mendes blocked as he poured on the pressure early. The pair traded kicks as they flew around the Octagon like the broadcast was in fast forward mode; however, both men were hesitant to let their fists fly the first three minute of the round. Then, Volkanovski charged in with a flurry, but Mendes circled out and countered with a hard uppercut and exchange along the fence. Volkanovski connected a hard right hand, which Mendes countered nicely. They exchanged wild shots toward the end of the round, with Mendes scoring his first takedown as the clock winded down. Volkanovski returned to his feet quickly, though, nailing Mendes with a solid uppercut.
Both fighters touched gloves to start round two, with Volkanovski stalking Mendes, who fired off some shots to keep him at bay. Mendes landed a crushing right hand that hurt Volkanovski. Mendes came after him with reckless abandon, landing brutal shots, but then Volkanovski countered with a hard left that stopped Mendes in his tracks. Mendes dialed back his pursuit, but then Volkanovski was able to land another hard shot, which compelled “Money” to attempt (and secure) his second takedown of the fight. Volkanovski got back to his feet quickly again, but Mendes would not be denied, landing another takedown, but again he could not keep him down. Volkanovski got back to his feet and drilled him in the templed with a short elbow along the cage, then tore up his midsection with a hard hook and then bounced another hard shot off his forehead, which crumpled Mendes in a heap along the floor of the cage.
It was an incredible back-and-forth brawl that ended in violent fashion. Volkanovski is an absolute beast, improving his record inside the Octagon to 6-0. Talk about a stepping stone - Volkanovski will be in the title mix in early 2019.
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