Following every UFC and Strikeforce event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC 142, which took place on Jan. 14 from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Jose Aldo vs. Hatsu Hioki/Bart Palaszewski winner

Brazil’s own Jose Aldo put on the best performance of his career on Saturday at UFC 142 by landing a brutal knee to Chad Mendes and finishing him off with a punch in the final seconds of round one to retain his UFC featherweight title.

Aldo has now won 14 fights in a row and has defended his belt three times. The champion will now move on to whomever the UFC puts in front of him.

Hatsu Hioki (R) battles George Roop (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

The only other top contender fight currently booked in the featherweight division matches Hatsu Hioki and Bart Palaszewski, who will go toe to toe at UFC 144 in Japan.

Hioki is ranked as high as No. 2 in the featherweight rankings, and rightfully so. The Japanese star has held belts in numerous organizations and has defeated some of the top fighters in the world.

Palaszewski has come on strong as of late, going 4-1 in his last five fights with the WEC and UFC, including an impressive knockout victory over Tyson Griffin in his last bout. “Bartimus” is very well-rounded and can finish his opponent in any fashion.

It will be difficult for anyone to dethrone Aldo, but both Hioki and Palaszewski are capable of doing it.

Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva

“The Phenom” made Anthony Johnson pay for missing weight badly on Saturday, submitting him by way of rear-naked choke in the opening round.

Wanderlei Silva (Sherdog)

Belfort has now won his last two bouts since losing to Anderson Silva in his title bid at UFC 126. It appears that Belfort is hungry and ready to get back in the Octagon right away, but first he has some coaching to do.

Belfort and Wanderlei Silva were chosen as captains for the new season of The Ultimate Fighter, which takes place in Brazil this time and features many talented fighters from South America. The announcement of the Brazilian-based season was made during the UFC 142 pre-fight press conference in December.

Once the reality show concludes, the two middleweight veterans are expected, as coaches do in every season, to fight each other.

Belfort and Silva have fought once before in 1996 at UFC 17.5, which was the first UFC event to take place in Brazil. Belfort destroyed Silva in that fight, scoring a TKO victory just 44 seconds into the bout.

Rousimar Palhares vs. Demian Maia/Michael Bisping winner

While there were many submissions to choose from to earn Submission of the Night on Saturday, it was Palhares’ heel hook submission on Mike Massenzio that added more change to his pocket.

The submission specialist has now won three straight fights and is ready to get his feet wet against top contenders of the middleweight division.

Some may argue that a win over Massenzio isn’t a major victory for Palhares and he needs to prove himself more to be considered a contender, but look at his career in the UFC. “Toquinho” has only lost two out of nine fights with the promotion and those two losses were against Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt, two of the best middleweights in the world. So, in my opinion, the UFC should give Palhares a competitive match-up.

One fight coming up soon is Michael Bisping taking on Demian Maia at UFC on Fox 2 on Jan. 28. Both Bisping and Maia are on a roll and are looking to get back in title contention.

If Palhares if matched up with either fighter, he is going to test them. That should be the next pairing made once Bisping and Maia fight.

Carlo Prater vs. John Cholish

Like most UFC events, there is going to be controversy. And at UFC 142, a DQ was called by referee Mario Yamasaki that was very questionable.

Erick Silva was looking to earn a victory by ground-and-pound on Carlo Prater in the second fight of the main card. But Yamasaki stepped in and said the shots were being landed to the back of Prater’s head and ruled the fight a disqualification. This gave Prater the win, but UFC officials are expected to study this fight to get the correct ruling.

But still, Prater gets the win and moves on to get a chance to fight once again since being signed by the UFC. Prater has won 30 fights in his career, 16 of those coming by way of submission. The Brazilian is talented, but needs a chance to showcase his skills more to fans.

Let’s see how Prater would fare against a rising prospect like John Cholish. Cholish made his debut in the Octagon at UFC 140 and earned a TKO over Mitch Clarke. The Renzo Gracie trained fighter has only lost once in his career, in his first-ever MMA fight, and appears to have potential.

Edson Barboza vs. Tony Ferguson

The highlight of the night, by far, was the round-house kick knockout Edson Barboza landed on Terry Etim. It may be only January, but that kick is going to be in consideration for knockout of the year.

Barboza is only 25 years old, stands undefeated at 10-0, and has finished eight of those opponents. From those numbers and the kick I saw on Saturday, this guy is going to be a star in the sport. I’m not saying he’s suddenly going to rise up to Jose Aldo’s skill level, but Barboza has already defeated talented fighters, including Anthony Njokuani and Ross Pearson.

One fight that I would love to see is Barboza taking on Tony Ferguson, winner of TUF 13. Both of these guys bring it once they step into the Octagon and it would be a battle worth watching, for sure.

Photo: UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (Tracy Lee/Yahoo! Sports)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.