UFC 142 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a doozy of an MMA event. The main card featured a number of exciting finishes, perhaps none more spectacular than in the main event.
Native Californian Chad Mendes, who fights out of Sacramento, took his perfect 11-0 record into the main event, where he squared off against the featherweight champion Jose Aldo for the title. Aldo, performing in front of his home crowd, had not lost a fight since 2005.
Mendes and Aldo stood toe-to-toe for much of the first round, exchanging leg kicks and punches in an extended feeling-out process. Mendes landed some shots that appeared to not cause much damage to the champ. In the closing minute of the first round, Mendes locked in a rear waistlock against the cage. With less than ten seconds left to go, Also separates Mendes' hands, spun and connected with a sharp knee to the forehead of the challenger. Mendes was sent sprawling and Aldo pounced on him with two quick punches. The referee stepped in and waved off the fight with just one second left on the clock, declaring Aldo the winner by knockout in 4:59 of Round 1.
Aldo ran from the cage and into the thick of the red-hot Brazilian crowd. The celebration was long, loud and well-deserved.
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.