The UFC returned to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the second time in less than a year for UFC 142.  Headlining the event was a featherweight title tilt between champion Jose Aldo and challenger Chad Mendes.  Also on deck was a middleweight bout between former champion Vitor Belfort and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.  The event took place from the HSBC Arena.  The main card aired on pay-per-view, while the preliminary bouts aired on both FX and Facebook.

Aldo finished Mendes with big knee

In the night’s main event, Brazilian Jose Aldo triumphantly retained his featherweight strap by handing wrestling stalwart Chad Mendes the first loss of his career.

The pair traded leg kicks early, with Aldo connecting with the crisper shots.  Mendes repeatedly looked to score with takedowns, but the champion exhibited great balance to keep the fight standing.

As the first round neared its conclusion, Aldo landed a knee flush to the jaw of Mendes, sending him crashing to the mat.  Aldo followed with a right hand and referee Mario Yamasaki waived it off.

Belfort punishes “Rumble” for missing weight

Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort made sure his opponent, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, would regret missing the 185-pound limit in the co-main event.

Johnson, the former welterweight, tipped the scales at 197 pounds on Friday, and 204 pounds on fight day, which cost him 20 percent of his fight purse.

During the opening frame, Johnson scored a takedown and assaulted Belfort with ground-and-pound from the top.  Belfort’s right eye swelled shut as a result.  However, the Brazilian benefitted from multiple stand-ups from referee Dan Miragliotta, allowing him to hurt Johnson with a series of knees and punches.

Belfort managed to take Johnson’s back near the end of the frame and locked in a fight-ending rear-naked choke just before the round came to an end.

Palhares needs only a minute to submit Massenzio

Middleweight grappling ace Rousimar Palhares dispatched of opponent Mike Massenzio by heel hook just moments into their bout.

The Brazilian looked for a takedown and when it failed, he pulled guard and immediately attacked Massenzio’s leg.  Once he rolled, Massenzio was grimacing in pain and quickly tapped to the submission expert.

The victory earned Palhares the night’s “Submission of the Night” honors and a $65,000 bonus.

Prater benefits from questionable DQ

 

Welterweight Carlo Prater’s Octagon debut went everything but according to plan.  Prater was quickly overwhelmed by opponent Erick Silva with a knee and barrage of hammerfists.  It appeared as if Silva had scored his second-straight finish in under a minute.

However, referee Mario Yamasaki ruled that Silva’s hammerfists had been illegal blows to the back of Prater’s head.  As a result, Prater was handed a controversial disqualification victory.

Barboza knocks out Etim with wheel kick

Brazilian Edson Barboza may have already locked up the year’s knockout of the year award with his wheel kick finish of England’s Terry Etim.

The two lightweights battled for two full rounds, with Barboza tenderizing Etim’s legs with a barrage of leg kicks.  Heading into the final round, it was Etim that needed a finish to secure victory, but Barboza made sure that would not happen.

Barboza’s spinning heel kick, or wheel kick, landed flush with Etim’s jaw, locking up his body and sending him to the mat.

The highlight-reel finish earned the “Knockout of the Night” bonus for Barboza, but there is consolation for Etim as the bout also took home the “Fight of the Night” award.

Preliminary Summary

Lightweight Thiago Tavares took a narrow decision win over Sam Stout in a back-and-forth battle.

Heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga had a successful return to the promotion, handing the debuting Ednaldo Oliveira a rear-naked choke defeat.

Featherweight Yuri Alcantara dominated Michihiro Omigawa for the majority of the fight, earning his thirteenth straight win.

Mike Pyle spoiled the Octagon return of welterweight Ricardo Funch with a onslaught of knees and punches.

In a featherweight battle, Felipe Arantes got his first UFC win over the debuting Antonio Carvalho.

FULL RESULTS

Jose Aldo def. Chad Mendes by KO (knee and punches). Round 1, 4:59 (retains featherweight title)

Vitor Belfort def. Anthony Johnson by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:45

Rousimar Palhares def. Mike Massenzio by submission (heel hook). Round 1, 1:03

Carlo Prater def. Erick Silva by disqualification (illegal punches). Round 1, 0:29

Edson Barboza def. Terry Etim by KO (wheel kick). Round 3, 2:02

Thiago Tavares def. Sam Stout by unanimous decision (no scores given)

Gabriel Gonzaga def. Ednaldo Oliveira by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:22

Yuri Alcantara def. Michihiro Omigawa by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Mike Pyle def. Ricardo Funch by TKO (knees and punches). Round 1, 1:22

Felipe Arantes def. Antonio Carvalho by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Photo: Rousimar Palhares (left) (Heavy MMA)