Sergio Non: When you heard Dana say that you're likely the next guy for the title shot, what went through your mind?
Chad Mendes: We've kind of been talking about it for awhile, and I was hoping that it was going to be. Just hearing him say that, it's awesome, man.
I've only been doing this for three years. I have 10 fights, and to be fighting for a UFC world title, it's unreal. This is definitely my dream. I'm living my dream and taking it a day at a time and soaking it all up.
SN: Supposedly it's August in Philly. How does that timetable work for you?
CM: That's perfect. I've been training and just maintaining and working on stuff this whole time.
Right after my last fight, it was something that was talked about, so it's been in the back of my head, and I've been looking forward. We've been staying active, and I feel like I'm still in great shape. I'll be ready to go by then.
SN: It's almost a Jon Jones-type acceleration. How much does that match your expectation of how quickly you thought you'd progress?
CM: I definitely didn't think it was going to be this fast.
I mean, I knew and I believed in myself. I knew that I would do well in the sport, seeing Urijah (Faber) do well and seeing how similar our body types were, and similar styles and stuff. And just coming from the wrestling background, I knew I would do well. But I just did not think I would be here this fast.
SN: Do you find MMA to cause more injuries than when you wrestled or no?
CM:Tell you the truth, I feel like I got hurt more in wrestling. I think it's just because wrestling's so much more of a grind. You're just banging on each other's head and getting in crazy scramble positions all the time, every single day.
Where a lot of times in MMA, you'll do ground stuff one day, and then the next day's all stand-up stuff, so it's not the repetitive grinding and banging.
Grappling in wrestling is so hard on the body. I think the staggering of the type of training (in MMA) definitely makes it a lot better on the body.
SN: What do you normally walk around at?
CM: Me, I'm close to 160. Anywhere from 156 to 160 is what I'm usually at.
I've read that Aldo comes down from the high 160s.
I think he's more in the '70s. I heard he showed up that Tuesday in Canada 174, is what the rumor was. Who knows how true that is? Numbers can obviously grow from person to person, but that's not the first time I've heard he goes in the '70s.
Read entire inte4rview...