RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JANUARY 14: UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo prepares for his now infamous celebratory run around the HSBC Arena after he handily defeated Chad Mendes to defend his belt at UFC 142.
It was a big weekend for both the country of Brazil and its native fighters, as the "Aldo vs. Mendes" event saw Brazilian fighters go 8-3 on the card in front of their fellow countrymen. This is a stat that looks even better when you consider that the event featured two fights where Brazilians were pitted against each other.
A Brazilian champion defended his crown and continued to further his legend. A Brazilian future mixed martial arts (MMA) Hall-of-Famer picked up a sweet submission finish, proving that he's still a force to be reckoned with in the middleweight division. Several Brazilian prospects also showed that they should no longer be viewed as "up-and-comers." They've arrived.
After the jump, we'll comb over some of the finer points, in and out of the cage, that comprised the UFC 142 weekend:
Sometimes, you forget how good a fighter is when you haven't seen him for a while. When he routinely beats one opponent after another, you start to take him for granted.
Jose Aldo stepped inside the Octagon on Saturday night and threw down the gauntlet for every 145-pound fighter in the world. If you want to be called the best featherweight, you're going to have to go through "Scarface."
Good luck with that.
Chad Mendes said he had a strategy for victory. He came in confident with his Alpha Male homeboys in his corner for support. It all went out the window after the first few leg kicks loudly thudded into the inside and outside of Mendes' unfortunate knees.
Near the end of the first round, it looked as though "Money" might have actually found an opening. He was able to wrap Aldo up against the cage, and it appeared as though he might actually be making some headway.
Aldo looked a little flustered. He even got away with blatantly grabbing the fence during a slam attempt. He looked human ... but just for a second.
Right as the round-ending horn was set to sound, it happened. Aldo turned, Mendes dropped down and the champion landed a knee that sealed the deal and ended the fight.
On to the next one.
The co-main event was somewhat marred by an unfortunate inability to make weight by Anthony Johnson, who weighed in a whopping 11 pounds heavier than the allowed 186-pounds for his weight class.
His opponent, Vitor Belfort, agreed to fight him nonetheless and was richly rewarded with 20-percent of "Rumble's" purse as a result.
At first, the much larger Johnson was able to use his size and wrestling to bully Belfort. He even drew first blood by giving "The Phenom" a black eye that eventually caused it to swell completely shut early in the fight.
Like the legend that he is, Belfort pushed through it and waited for his opening. He didn't have to wait long, as he was able to get Johnson's back near the end of round one and sank in a deep rear-naked choke that left his adversary with no choice but to tap.
The misadventures at the weigh-ins and the poor performance caused UFC President Dana White to state afterwards that "we're probably going to cut him (Johnson)."
Aldo and Belfort weren't the only Brazilians who had monumental nights.
Rousimar Palhares put on a display of Brazilian jiu-jitsu that was so proficient, viewers at home were grabbing their legs in pain as a vicarious result of watching the submission he put on Mike Massenzio.
It was a vicious leglock that happened so fast, Massenzio barely even had time to tap. If "Toquinho" gets his big mitts on you, he might take a leg home.
His striking just gets better with every fight. Lightweights who have been foolish enough to stand and trade with him have found out the hard way that it wasn't the best strategy.
He's now 10-0 and continues to improve every time we see him in the cage.
For his troubles, Barboza picked up a cool $130,000 in bonuses for both the "Knockout of the Night" and the "Fight of the Night" honors.
For a full list of all of the UFC 142 bonus award winners click here.
That's the scope and the sequence of UFC 142 according to us. What does your rundown look like?
For complete UFC 142 results and a detailed recap of all the action click here. To check out a recap of the UFC 142 prelim fights that were seen on FX, click here. Want to know what happened with the UFC 142 Facebook Prelims portion of the card? To read a full recap click here.
And just in case you want to get up to speed on the entire UFC 142 fight card from top to bottom click here.