Get the fight to the ground.
However, early on, it was obvious that Mendes was going to have great difficulty taking Adown the Brazilian. And when the horn sounded for the end of the first round, Aldo showed the reason he is the one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, flooring Mendes with a brutal knee that led to the fight being stopped almost immediately.
The co-main event featured a
middleweight catchweight bout between another Brazilian product, Vitor Belfort, and Anthony Johnson, who "rumbled" onto the scale at a whopping 11 pounds more than the official weight, thus causing 20 percent of his purse to be forfeited to his opponent.
Unfortunately for Johnson, the talk about the weight cut issues lasted longer than the actual fight itself. Belfort weathered the early storm, before he jumped on an inevitably gassed Johnson and used his jiu-jitsu to finish him with a choke in front a home crowd that was going absolutely bananas.
After the jump, we'll take a look at what might be next for UFC 142 big winners Jose Aldo and Vitor Belfort:
The build-up to UFC 142 promised a classic match up between a striker (Jose Aldo) and a wrestler (Chad Mendes).
Pairings like these have, in the past, have delivered and brought very exciting fights. There have also been times when they've proven to be absolute duds. It's hard to say if the fight itself lived up to the hype. That said, what is for sure is that Aldo delivered and proved that the acclaim he receives for his abilities are well-deserved.
His leg kick are ridiculous. If you stand in front of him, it's going to be an early night.
Mendes found out that this can also be the case if you stand behind him, which is where he was located when Aldo spun, landed a brutal knee and then swarmed him with punches before Mario Yamasaki stepped in saved Mendes from taking any further damage.
It's hard to see anyone beating him at 145 pounds. He's taken the best challengers the UFC has had to throw at him and handled them somewhat easily (withstanding the 5th round of his fight with Hominick).
I'll throw two names at you.
Chan Sung Jung -- He's currently got an open slot on his dance card. He's won his last two fights in devastating fashion. Do I think he can beat Aldo? No, not really, but it makes for an exciting potential fight.
Hatsu Hioki -- Hioki is set to fight Bart Palaszewski at UFC 144 on Feb. 26, 2012, in Saitama, Japan. If Hioki can notch the win, it would set up a very interesting match up between two fighters who have long been ranked at the top of the featherweight weight class.
After that, it gets thin. It would certainly be nice to see the UFC bring in some new talent for the champion to challenge himself against.
Last night's fight between Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson meant a great deal to both participants.
For Belfort, it was chance to show that his quick knockout loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 126 on Feb. 25, 2011, was not an accurate portrayal of who he is as a fighter. It was a chance to build on his most recent knockout victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 on Aug. 6, 2011.
For Johnson, it was an opportunity to silence the many critics who decried him for failing to make weight, yet again.
It's hard to say that Belfort is back, per se, with the win over Johnson. "Rumble" was dehydrated from the weight cut and honestly looked totally winded by the end of the fight. However, "The Phenom" has now finished his last two fights and looked great in the process. Sure, Anderson Silva made him look silly, but be real. Silva has a way of doing that.
Next up for Belfort?
He is set to coach in the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil" reality television show versus Wanderlei Silva. At the end of the season, he will rematch "The Axe Murderer" in what is sure to go down as one of the best fights of the year.
What say you, Maniacs? Were you satisfied with the performances of Aldo and Belfort? Who would you like to see them both take on next?
Opinions, best guesses and predictions are all welcome in the comments section below.