The first UFC offering of 2012 comes to fans this Saturday in the form of UFC 142 where UFC Featherweight Champion “Junior” Jose Aldo (19-1) will defend his belt against “Money” Chad Mendes (11-0). The card marks the organization’s second return to the country of Brazil since the beginning of the Zuffa era and, as is often the case when the UFC travels abroad, it features a majority of fighters from that country. “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (15-5) will take on American middleweight Mike Massenzio (13-5), “Indio” Erick Silva (8-2) will face off with fellow Brazilian “Neo” Carlo Prater (27-11-1), and Edson Barboza (9-0) will put his undefeated record on the line against British striker Terry Etim (15-3). Serving as the co-main event is a middleweight match-up with a serious impact on the top of the division’s food chain. Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC 12 Tournament winner “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (20-9) will seek to further erase his loss to current champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (29-4) by knocking out former welterweight contender “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (10-3) who will be making his 185lbs. divisional debut.
It is a homecoming of all sorts as Brazilians and fellow fight fans around the world alike are treated to UFC 142 straight from the HSBC center in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this Saturday night. Muay Thai aficionado Edson Barboza (9-0) takes on Terry Etim (15-3) in the lightweight opener. A battle of Brazilians is set as “Indio” Erick Silva (8-2) welcomes “Neo” Carlo Prater (27-11-1) to the Octagon. The co-main event is sure to have mouthpieces flying, bodies dropping, and consciousness lost as “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (20-9) clashes with “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (10-3). Stakes could not be any higher as “Money” Chad Mendes (11-0) puts his undefeated steak on the line as he challenges “Junior” Jose Aldo (19-1) for his featherweight title in the main event. In middle of all this action, the hometown favorite “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (15-5) and “The Master of Disaster” Mike Massenzio (13-5) prepare to butt heads. While UFC’s last event in Brazil, UFC 134, lacked any submission victories, BJJ is bound to get its credit due as these two veterans of the art will seek to take the victory at the expense of the other’s limbs.