UFC 232 results, highlights: Alexander Volkanovski stops Chad Mendes in all-out battle

LOS ANGELES -- Unbeaten in six UFC appearances, Alexander Volkanovski survived a war with former two-time title contender Chad Mendes and boldly announced himself as a viable contender for the featherweight crown.

Volkanovski (19-1) bounced back from a pair of knockdowns and fought off a submission attempt before stopping Mendes on Saturday in the pay-per-view opening bout of UFC 232 at The Forum in Inglewood.

"I just want to shoot up these ranks," Volkanovski said. "Even though [Mendes] is one of the toughest guys in the division, I knew this would get me into the top five. Tough loss for him and I know he has only lost to the greats but now he has lost to another great, 'Alexander the Great.'"

After an even and tactical opening round, the veteran Mendes (18-5) began to establish himself as the bigger puncher by dropping Volkanovski twice with clean punches. Even after Mendes' vision became impaired by a cut below his left eye, he mixed in timely takedowns to regain control after Volkanovski fought back.

But the 30-year-old Volkanovski, a native of Australia, was just too tough and wouldn't stop coming forward. After Mendes took his opponent down and attempted a rear-naked choke, Volkanovski worked back up to his feet and instantly began to walk Mendes down. A hard left hook to the body was followed by a right hand to the chin that floored Mendes.

Referee Mark Smith instantly jumped in to save Mendes at 4:14 of Round 2.

"I wasn't hurt when he dropped me; I was clear headed and I just kept coming forward," Volkanovski said. "I'm one of the most dangerous guys in this division. I'm one of the most well-rounded and I'm [featherweight champion] Max Holloway's worst nightmare. I have a lot of respect for him and he's a gangster but he hasn't fought a wrestler like me."

Mendes, 33, who had only lost in title fights to Jose Aldo (twice) and Conor McGregor coming in, suffered his first defeat since returning from a nearly three-year layoff following a USADA suspension. Mendes bloodied the eye of Volkanovski in Round 2 but wasn't able to keep the younger and more aggressive fighter away from him.

For complete results from UFC 232, please click here.

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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