Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 10/24/14
It's been a year and a half since Chad Mendes' worst day as a pro, 18 months to digest what went wrong, correct it, then implement change. The results so far have been promising. Formerly a takedown-heavy grinder, Mendes -- under the watchful eye of new coach Duane "Bang" Ludwig -- has transformed himself into a powerful striker, with three straight sub two-minute knockouts. The metamorphosis has been both brilliant and surprisingly swift, but if there is one criticism about it all, it was regarding his competition level. Due to opponent injury issues, Mendes was twice faced with short-notice bouts against far less experienced challengers. The third bout came against Darren Elkins, a promising fighter but one who took the fight on four weeks notice. After dominating all three bouts, Mendes has looked undeniably impressive, but there are still some lingering doubt about what it has all meant. And that question, taken to its extreme, is this: can he have such succes...
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