Former UFC featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes has expressed gratitude for the UFC allowing him to sign with Bare Knuckle FC, but he isn’t planning on a potential return to the MMA’s biggest stage anytime soon.

Mendes recently announced during an episode on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast that he is returning to fight in bare-knuckle, and has signed with BKFC and will fight on Oct. 22 against an opponent that has yet to be determined. Mendes hasn’t fought since UFC 232, losing to Alexander Volkanovski by second-round knockout.

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Mendes recently spoke with MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck about his MMA future; and says while he isn’t 100% ruling out a return to the UFC down the line, it would have to be a better situation financially than his past contract with the promotion.

“They technically could have said, ‘You’re not going anywhere – if you’re not fighting here, you’re not fighting,’” Mendes said. “But I’ve always had a great relationship with the UFC, and I think this is an awesome thing for them to let me make some money.”

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“Of course, if the money….for what my contract is right now, hell no. Not a chance in hell. But if we were to talk and numbers made sense and we could get something that does make sense, I would think about it. It’s something I’m not done with. But I just don’t know if that’s ever going to happen.”

Mendes still trains with Team Alpha Male in Northern California, alongside MMA legend Uriah Faber and Cody Garbrandt. He most notably lost twice to former featherweight champion Jose Aldo, with the rematch at UFC 179 winning Fight of the Year, and nearly made another run at the belt before losing to Conor McGregor for the interim title.

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What are your thoughts on Chad Mendes returning to fighting?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.