This Weekend in Fights! (January 14th) was a return to Brazil for the UFC, and much like their previous venture to Brazil last August Saturday night was a big night for Brazilian pride with the majority of the bouts ending in spectacular fashion.
In the main event of the evening Featherweight champion Jose Aldo returned home for his first appearance fighting in Brazil in the UFC. Aldo reminded the world why he is the best pound for pound featherweight in the world as many people were under the impression that challenger Chad Mendes would be his toughest test to date. Although, Mendes has superior wrestling skill, he was no match for Aldo’s leg kicks, as they appeared to hurt Mendes with each blow. In an attempt to dictate the bout, Mendes locked his arms around Aldo pinning him up against the cage punishing his legs with knees. Aldo broke free and blasted Mendes with a knee to the face, dropping the challenger. The knee was followed up with one ground and pound strike until the bout was halted. With recent “poor” performances against Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian, Aldo stifled all critics with the knockout finish in the first round. After his win, Aldo sprinted into the crowd to celebrate with his country man, a first for the UFC and a very cool moment in MMA history.
The most talked about fight on the card between Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson was possibly the most exciting 4:45 that any MMA fans could ask for. The bout was overshadowed with controversy due to Johnson being unable to make the 186lbs limit for Middleweight; instead he weighed in at 197, and because he was able to weigh under 205lbs on fight day the bout took place. Even with those issues Johnson looked to be very game and a test for Belfort in a very back and fourth match up, both fighters took big shots from each other with a lot of quick stand ups from referee Dan Miragliotta. However, Belfort finished off Johnson with 15 seconds left on the clock with a rear naked choke submission.
Rousimar Palhares displayed some extravagant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu against Mike Massenzio, as he dropped for a single leg take down, spun on his back to cinch in an awesome heel hook to end his bout in 63 seconds.
Erick Silva returned to the UFC for his second bout and looked to finish his bout with Carlo Prater faster than his debut with the company by 10 seconds, but with too many strikes to the back of Prater’s head the bout was declared a disqualification thus bringing Silva’s UFC record to 1-1.
Edson Barboza and Terry Etim went toe-to-toe in a fantastic stand up war with Barboza winning the first two rounds. In the third and final round of their bout Barboza landed a beautiful spinning heel kick right on the button, knocking Etim cold out in the knockout of the night (Our opinion).
On the FX prelim card, Thiago Tavares edged out Sam Stout with a unanimous decision victory. In the third round Stout rocked Tavares and looked to finish the fight, but Stout turned it on too late. If the bout would have been one minute longer Stout would have easily got a TKO victory.
Gabriel Gonzaga made his UFC return by submitting the debuting Ednaldo Oliveira with a first round rear naked choke; and Mike Pyle picked a part the returning Ricardo Funch in 82 seconds with a combination of knees and punches. (Full UFC 142 event results below.)
Jose Aldo def. Chad Mendes via knockout (knee and punches) – Round 1, 4:59 – retains featherweight title
Vitor Belfort def. Anthony Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:45
Rousimar Palhares def. Mike Massenzio via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:03
Carlo Prater def. Erick Silva via disqualification (illegal punches) – Round 1, 0:29
Edson Barboza def. Terry Etim via knockout (spinning heel kick) – Round 3, 2:02
Thiago Tavares def. Sam Stout via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Ednaldo Oliveira via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:22
Yuri Alcantara def. Michihiro Omigawa via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Mike Pyle def. Ricardo Funch via TKO (knees and punches) – Round 1, 1:22
Felipe Arantes def. Antonio Carvalho via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)