In two of his past three fights, Chad Mendes has battled for a UFC title. He last squared off with Conor McGregor for the interim UFC featherweight title and fell short in his bid for the strap. Mendes also faced Jose Aldo twice for the division crown, but was unable to bring home gold.
At the UFC 194 and The Ultimate Fighter Finale press conference at the MGM Grand on Wednesday, Mendes said he's ready for another shot. Of course, he'll have to get past Frankie Edgar for that opportunity, which will be no easy feat.
Should he get past Edgar, the 30-year-old California native could align himself for another title shot. Mendes said he doesn't care who he faces next.
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"I basically just want to fight whoever has the belt. That strap is the ultimate goal," Mendes said. "I've been close a couple times. I've tasted it...whoever has the belt."
Mendes and Edgar face off just 24 hours prior to the championship showdown between Aldo and McGregor. Surely, both men will watch intently to see who they may trade leather with next. While Edgar battled Aldo for the title back at UFC 156, Mendes has gone toe-to-toe with both men in UFC 194's main event and took the opportunity to break down what he sees as their strengths.
"I think both these guys can cause some issues for each other. I mean Conor has his long reach, he's southpaw, he uses pressure well. Aldo's very explosive and he's dangerous on the feet everywhere. The one thing I see Aldo having over Conor is the ground game," said Mendes.
"We'll see what happens mentally when both guys get in there. This is a fight I'm really excited for. Getting in there and fighting against both of these guys, I felt their mental and their physical and it's going to be an exciting fight."
There's no guarantee that the winner of Edgar vs. Mendes will vie for the featherweight championship next. What comes next depends on the outcome of UFC 194's main event. But no matter what, both men agreed that above all else, they are on a quest for just that.
Chad Mendes will meet Frankie Edgar in Friday's main event at the TUF 22 Finale. The fight card will air on FOX Sports 1.