In 2017, Mendonca went winless. After he lost his one and only fight in 2018, pushing his losing streak to three, his career looked to have hit a wall. Then 6-4 as a professional, it would’ve been easy to throw in the towel.
Flash forward to today.
The 28-year-old recently captured the Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) welterweight title in a Fight of the Year contender against previously undefeated Monoglian prospect Batsumberel Dagvadorj (7-1). The title victory capped off Mendonca’s perfect 2020, which saw him score three wins and stretch his current winning streak to five.
Speaking to MMA-Prospects, Mendonca stated, “[Winning] the LFA title is a great achievement for me; it is the beginning of a new story. It was a real five-round war that gave me a lot of experience. I was very happy to make the best fight of the year in the LFA.”
Mendonca, who adeptly commands the fight with his lengthy build and sophisticated striking, has faced a tough slate of opponents along the way. He holds a win over former Cage Fury FC welterweight champion and Bellator athlete Bobby Lee (12-5), Victory FC champion Kassius Kayne (11-7), and Contender Series veteran Devin Smyth (9-3).
The 6’2″ Mendonca is LFA’s fifth welterweight champion. Of those five, Derrick Krantz (24-12) is in the UFC, James Nakashima (12-1) is in ONE Championship, and Jason Jackson (13-4) and Jaleel Willis (14-2) reside in Bellator. All five were signed to their current promotions after capturing or defending their LFA titles save for Krantz, who was awarded a UFC contract after a valiant effort on UFC President Dana White’s ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’ series at LFA 63.
Mendonca should be the next LFA champion to enter the Octagon.
“I am ready and waiting for the call,” said Mendonca, “and I [have] come a long way. 2021 is going to be my year. [The fans] can expect a striking show. I’m improving with each fight, and the best is yet to come.”