Our coverage of tonight’s UFC on FOX 9 fight card continues as the action heads to the featherweight division as contenders Chad Mendes and Nik Lentz collide in tonight’s second FOX fight. The night’s action would see the two rivals battle it out with Mendes coming out on top in tonight’s second main card fight in Sacramento.
Mendes Tops Lentz
Chad Mendes would stay in the featherweight title picture tonight with a solid, but reserved, victory over Nik Lentz tonight at UFC on FOX 9. Mendes nearly put his opponent away early, but Lentz would battle back and hurt the former number one contender with a solid body kick. From that point on, Mendes mostly relied on takedowns and occasional punches for the rest of the fight. While Lentz looked to be changing the tune in the third, Mendes battled back and nearly finished the fight with a guillotine choke.
Mendes has now won five straight since losing to champion José Also last year, while Lentz tastes defeat for the first time since dropping to featherweight. UFC president Dana White tweeted after the fight that Mendes was reportedly dealing with the flu before tonight’s fight.
Rd. 1- No touch of gloves here. Lentz is finally the bigger fighter for once and opens the action with a mostly missed combo. Nasty legkick by Mendes. Mendes with a nasty combination that buckles Lentz but he manages to survive and keep it standing. Hard exchange that Mendes gets the better of but Lentz returns well. Wicked body kick by Lentz stymies Mendes for now and Lentz tries to press more now. Lentz gets overextended however and Mendes secures a nice takedown. Lentz escapes back to his feet and lands a knee on the clinch exit. Nice punches from Mendes counter Lentz and the Minnesotan is wearing his damage in the form of cuts and swelling now. Lentz tries to press on but ends up getting taken down. Lentz is using his guard well however and forces Mendes to slow the pace. Mendes just stands and lands a hard strike as they stand. Mendes with another takedown now and just waits out the end of the round on top. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Mendes.
Rd. 2- The body kick by Lentz seems to be lingering as Mendes looks tired to start the round. Hard legkicks by Mendes early keep Lentz from advancing. Jab by Mendes and he lands another. More legkicks and jabs by Mendes now. Lentz gets taken down while striking but Mendes lets him up from side control. Lentz lands more but ends up being taken down again and briefly looks for a guillotine. Lentz escapes as Mendes finally lands some elbows from the top. Mendes with yet another take down as Lentz advances. Light body shots by Mendes as the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Mendes (20-18).
Rd. 3- Mendes tries a teep but misses and Lentz lands a pair of body kicks after. Lentz backs up Mendes with strikes and Mendes briefly slips before getting back up. Another body kick from Lentz and he stuffs a Mendes takedown. Left hook by Lentz lands. Solid body kick lands by Mendes again. Brief stop after an eyepoke. Lentz keeps switching stances and lands a nice right jab. Wicked bodykick again by Lentz and he is briefly taken down before elevating to escape. Good knees and a left by Lentz. Mendes tries a flying knee that glances but still drops,and bloodies, Lentz. Mendes attacks with a guillotine and eventually has mount but Lentz survives the choke. Mendes lets Lentz back up and lands a solid hook as the final horn sounds.
Result: Chad Mendes def. Nik Lentz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Referee: “Big” John McCarthy