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Chad Mendes eyes return at UFC 226 against Frankie Edgar after serving two-year USADA suspension

It’s been over two years since former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes stepped foot inside the Octagon, but the powerhouse wrestler is just about nearing a comeback.

Indeed, “Money” was hit with a two-year suspension from United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) in June of 2016 stemming from an out-of-competition drug test. But in a month from now, Chad’s time on the sidelines will be served and be free to resume his combat career.

And he’s ready to start wrecking shop, though the time off was welcomed.

“It was nice to decompress and get out of the game for a little bit. I’ve been training and competing non-stop since I was five years old and I have never taken a year off,” he said during a recent edition of The MMA Hour.

“It’s been nice to step away from it, start my business and kind of go into a different direction for a little bit. I am 32 years old, I still got the itch to compete and I am excited to get back in there and jump back into the mix.”

Regarding the substance he used, Mendes says it came from a product he used for his psoriasis which unfortunately had a banned peptide in it, and is adamant he never took any steroids as evidenced by the fact he’s been tested numerous times before and they’ve all came out negative.

Still, “Money” puts the blame on himself for not doing his homework.

“My dad raised me that way. If you fuck up, you got to pay the price. You have to do your homework, you have to do your due diligence and make sure that what you are doing in life are the right things,” he said. “I messed up, I used a product, I wasn’t paying attention and it never really crossed my mind. That’s my mistake, that was my fault and I had to pay the price.”

Chad did reveal that had he not been suspended, he was planning to take a year off to regroup following his back-to-back losses Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar, which had a lot to do with him not pursuing a lesser suspension.

Mendes has gone 1-3 in his last four bouts but will undoubtedly be a welcomed addition back into the 145-pound weight class that now has a new champion since the last time Mendes competed in Max Holloway.

As for when he’d like to return, “Money” has his sights set on the upcoming UFC 226 pay-per-view (PPV) event on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada which will co-feature Holloway defending his strap against Brian Ortega. And he wouldn’t mind getting a rematch against Frankie Edgar after losing to “The Answer” in his last outing via first round knockout in December of 2015 (see it again here).

“I honestly would like to get that Frankie fight back. Frankie is a tough little guy and a guy I know I can beat. That fight would be great. I honestly feel that any of the guys in the top 10 I match up with great.”

Of course, Edgar has bigger plans.

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