Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar isn’t usually one to publicly criticize opponents. He made an exception some time ago, however, when talking about his December opponent Chad Mendes.
"You know, I think he was looking for a way out," Edgar told the UFC regarding Mendes and his shocking July loss to Conor McGregor, after taking the fight on just over a week’s notice.
"I know it’s tough coming off two weeks notice and supposedly he broke his foot and whatnot but you’ve got to go into every fight trying to win, man. You can’t be fighting for a paycheck. If you’re fighting for a paycheck, I’m the wrong guy to be standing across the cage from."
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Mendes fired back at Edgar on the Anik and Florian podcast, recently. According to "Money," he always comes to win, no matter the circumstance.
"I think that’s super disrespectful," Mendes began.
"There’s no way I’m ever going into any fight looking for a paycheck, looking for a way out. I’m going in there to win every single time. There’s no way I’m ever taking a dive. There’s no amount of money in this world that could pay me off in a fight. I’m a very competitive person. I’ve been competing since I was five years old."
Mendes said he isn’t about to jeopardize everything he’s worked so hard for just to take an easy way out. "This is my life. This is what I live for," he said.
"I’ve built everything around that. I’m not going to go in there looking to find an easy way out. There’s only one way to find that out, Frankie. We’re going to find out Dec. 11. I definitely don’t think this is going to be an easy fight for you."
Mendes has repeatedly said that he believes he’d beat McGregor with a full training camp under his belt. With that said, the Team Alpha Male member still doesn’t regret taking the risky interim title-shot.
"You get that opportunity, you don’t turn it down," he reasoned.
"Who knows? I could go out and knock the dude out on the first punch and I’m the interim title holder."