HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Saturday may have been the end of Chad Mendes’ fighting career – or the start of a new chapter in his combat sports journey.

The former UFC title challenger is unsure of where his fighting future will go following his successful return to competition. Mendes made a comeback from retirement with a dominant TKO win over Joshua Alvarez on the main card of BKFC’s KnuckleMania 2 event. It was his first fight since December 2018.

The 36-year-old is not committed to continue fighting and plans to evaluate his future in the coming weeks.

“Let me go hang out and unwind with my family for a couple of weeks,” Mendes told MMA Junkie. “It’s been a crazy last year of preparation for this fight. I think let me unwind and really step back and look at everything and we’ll know soon.”

Mendes told MMA Junkie in the lead-up to his bareknuckle boxing debut that he still has three fights left on his UFC contract, and though he’s not opposed to a return to MMA, there’s “not a chance” he’ll fight again in the octagon under his current deal. The UFC gave Mendes permission to compete at BKFC.

With a wife and two kids, plus businesses to run in his life outside of fighting, Mendes is unsure if he wants to continue fighting. However, from a physical standpoint, Mendes thinks there’s plenty left in the tank.

“(I have more to give) – 100 percent,” Mendes said. “My cardio felt unbelievable. I didn’t feel tired at all in there. I mean, they’re such short rounds and it’s just boxing, so it’s great to be able to just focus on actually on what you’re doing instead of pacing yourself to get through those five minute rounds with grappling and kicking and stuff.

“All in all, I felt great. I still feel like I’m in my prime. It’s awesome going up a weight class. I didn’t have to cut much weight. Even my senior year in college, I was cutting tons of weight in the lead-up to that and ended up bumping two weight classes and going closer toward my normal weight, and it was the best year I’ve ever had in my entire life. So we took a page out of that book. I said, ‘Look, obviously I’d love to go down to 145, but I’m going to get in there and just see how I feel with a little bit of more weight on me.’ I don’t have to drain myself so much, so I can keep my explosivity, strength and cardio. I felt good, man.”

Mendes fought for the UFC from 2012-2018. He competed for the featherweight title in 2012 and 2014, but both times came up short against then-champion Jose Aldo. Mendes also fought for the interim UFC belt in 2015, but lost to Conor McGregor by second-round TKO.

Mendes holds notable wins over the likes of Cub Swanson, Clay Guida, Ricardo Lamas, Myles Jury and Rani Yahya.

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