January 15, 2012
Brazilians dominate UFC 142 in Rio
By NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI Agency
TORONTO - Featherweight champion Jose Aldo almost caused a riot at UFC 142 in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
After knocking out challenger Chad Mendes with a phenomenal knee in the main event, Aldo ran out into the crowd, whipping the audience into a frenzy. In a crazy scene, fans hoisted Aldo onto their shoulders as security members frantically attempted to get him back into the cage.
“I want to thank the home crowd,” Aldo said through his translator. “This is the spirit I wanted to come out with.”
UFC fans finally got a glimpse of why Aldo is considered one of the best fighters on the planet. His leg kicks were brutal and he displayed fantastic takedown defence.
As time began to run out in the first round, Mendes took standing back control against the fence and kneed away at the legs. Then, as Aldo spun out, Mendes ducked down, only to get blasted in the face with a hard knee.
“Thankfully, I was able to put it in the right spot,” Aldo said. “I can only thank my team. I’m nobody without my team.”
This marks the first loss of Mendes’ career. He congratulated Aldo on a brilliant performance.
“Jose’s a great champion,” Mendes said. “He’s a tough dude. I felt the best I’ve ever felt.But he got me.
“Jose’s got good takedown defence. I knew from watching his fights that he was going to be tough to take down.”
Vitor Belfort weathered the early storm before submitting Anthony Johnson in the first round of the UFC 142 co-main event.
Johnson came out like a bat out of hell, unloading with ground-and-pound. But after getting stood up by referee Dan Miragliotta, Belfort hurt Johnson with big punches.
Johnson desperately attempted to execute a takedown, but Belfort secured back control and then slipped in a rear-naked choke for the victory in his hometown.
The bout almost didn’t happen. Johnson missed weight on Friday and was required to weigh less than 205 pounds at noon local time Saturday. He then tipped the scale at 204.2 pounds.
Belfort said he wasn’t offended Johnson coming in 11 pounds over the middleweight limit.
“I’ve fought big guys,” Belfort said. “I’m ready to fight whoever. I cut 25 pounds in four days because I’m a professional.
“I’m focused on my goals. I can’t control the outcome, but I can control my attitude.”
Referee Mario Yamasaki cost Erick Silva a stunning TKO victory, disqualifying the Brazilian fighter for illegal shots to the back of the head.
After catching Carlo Prater with a knee to the gut, Silva unloaded with a flurry of punches and hammerfists. With the exception of maybe one shot, all appeared to land on the side of the head.
Following the bout, interviewer Joe Rogan immediately confronted Yamasaki regarding the ruling. Upon watching the replay, he seemed to realize he made a mistake.
“I was saying, ‘Don’t hit the back of the head.’” Yamasaki said. “I have to decide here right (on the spot). I had to decide there and then. There’s nothing I can do.”
Two weeks into 2012 and Edson Barboza may have delivered the knockout of the year, flattening Terry Etim.
Etim came out aggressive, but immediately changed his approach after feeling the power behind Barboza’s leg kicks. Barboza then began picking him apart for more than 10 minutes.
In the third round, Barboza uncorked a spectacular spinning heel kick to the head. Etim went completely stiff from the shot, looking like a toppled statue on the way down to the mat.
Canadian fighters were shutout Saturday, losing a pair of unanimous decisions to their Brazilian opponents.
Thiago Tavares edged London, Ont., native Sam Stout in the final preliminary bout.
The threat of getting taken down clearly weighed on Stout’s mind, as he looked tentative in the striking exchanges. After dropping the first two rounds, Stout came alive near the end of third and had Tavares reeling from a series of stiff power shots, but couldn’t knock him out before time expired.
This was Stout’s first fight since the death of his brother-in-law and trainer Shawn Tompkins.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native Antonio Carvalho lost a hard-fought bout with Felipe Arantes.
Carvalho’s utilized his superior grappling to win the first round after knocking Arantes off his feet with a kick. But as the fight progressed, Arantes managed was able to turn it into a kickboxing match, out-striking the Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt. The third round saw Carvalho pull guard, only to get bloodied with a vicious series of elbows.
American Mike Pyle was the only victorious foreign fighter, finishing Ricardo Funch with strikes in the first round.