UFC 142, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil featured a spectacular main card, with four of the five fights ending in exciting and decisive fashion. The main event in particular contained one of the most surprising endings to an MMA fight in recent memory.
Jose Aldo defended his featherweight championship against native Californian Chad Mendes, who was born in Hanford and fights out of Sacramento. Mendes was a perfect 11-0 coming into the fight, having won six straight WEC and UFC fights since his debut with the organization in 2010.
In the opening round of the scheduled five-round championship fight, Mendes stood toe-to-toe with Aldo, at first choosing to exchange leg kicks before the two men began throwing punches. Mendes landed a couple of key blows but appeared not to be doing much damage to the champ. With the round winding down, Mendes ended up against the cage with Aldo, holding Aldo in a rear waistlock. As the final ten seconds of the round wound to a close, Aldo separated Mendes' hands and freed himself. Still holding the right wrist of Mendes, Aldo spun and delivered a strong knee directly to the forehead of Mendes, laying him flat on his back, dazed or possibly out cold. Aldo pounced on him and delivered two big punches before the referee was able to step in and wave off the fight. The winner was Aldo by knockout at 4:59 of the first round.
Aldo, a native Brazilian, ran from the cage and into the thick of the crowd, who greeted him like a conquering hero. It was an incredible knockout and an incredible visual. Aldo's record is now 21-1. He has not lost a fight since 2005.
The rest of the results from Brazil:
Featherweight bout: Felipe Arantes vs. Antonio Carvalho
Arantes defeated Carvalho via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Welterweight bout: Ricardo Funch vs. Mike Pyle
Pyle defeated Funch via TKO (knee and punches) at 1:22 of round 1
Featherweight bout: Yuri Alcantara vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Alcantara defeated Omigawa via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Heavyweight bout: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ednaldo Oliveira
Gonzaga defeated Oliveira via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:22 of round 1
Lightweight bout: Thiago Tavares vs. Sam Stout
Tavares defeated Stout via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight bout: Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim
Barboza defeated Etim via KO (wheel kick) at 2:02 of round 3
Welterweight bout: Erick Silva vs. Carlo Prater
Prater defeated Silva via disqualification (illegal blows to back of head) at 0:29 of round 1
Middleweight bout: Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Massenzio
Palhares defeated Massenzio via submission (heel hook) at 1:03 of round 1
Catchweight (197 lb) bout: Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson
Belfort defeated Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:49 of round 1
It was a big night for the Brazilian fighters. Gonzaga won his first fight back in the UFC in 15 months. On the main card, there were three endings worth noting. The knockout kick by Etim against Barboza has to be seen to be believed, as it was quite impressive. Equally impressive was the scary speed with which Palhares dispatched Massenzio, shooting in for a double-leg and rolling it into a brutal heel hook that was more of a knee submission. In the catchweight fight, Vitor Belfort choked out the inexcusably-overweight Johnson and after the fight pointed out how disrespectful and unprofessional it was of his opponent to show up for weigh-in a full 11 pounds over the 186-pound weight limit for their fight. Luckily, Belfort's skill was more than enough to dispatch Johnson, weight difference or no weight difference.