Aldo is the current UFC featherweight champion. The rising Brazilian star defended his title twice in 2011 with unanimous decision victories over Kenny Florian and Mark Hominick. He's hoping to ring in the New Year with his first UFC finish.
His opponent, Chad Mendes, is undefeated and finally feels he's ready for his moment to shine. "Money" Mendes has had his way with everyone put in his path, from Michihiro Omigawa, RanI Yahya to fellow top contender Erik Koch. The Team Alpha Male fighter is hoping his wrestling will help him win the title.
Vitor Belfort is coming off an emphatic first round knockout of the hardheaded Yoshihiro Akiyama. He came up short in 2011 in his UFC middleweight title bid, and he's hoping a victory here, plus one over fellow Ultimate Fighter Brazil coach Wanderlei Silva will give him one more shot.
Belfort's opponent, Anthony Johnson, is making the move to middleweight at least for now. Long heralded as the largest welterweight on the UFC roster who cut the most weight, "Rumble" will actually be two inches taller than Belfort with a four inch reach advantage. He's riding a two fight winning streak and could become a contender in either division with a victory.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC 142 conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET.
1:12 p.m. - We're about to begin. Guess we're starting on Brazilian time.
They announce April 14th will be the Sweden show.
Chad Mendes: This is the birthplace of MMA. Going over there and beating the champion in his own backyard, there's no better way to prove I'm the best 145-er. Camp went smooth and I'm ready to showcase my skills.
Anthony Johnson: Going there is an honor. This is where it all began. I don't mind coming into anybody's backyard, putting on a show and fighting to the best of my ability.
Vitor Belfort: This is just as any fight anywhere. It's my job and it's what I do. The best thing to do is do what you do anywhere you go. The Octagon is the same size everywhere and it's a competition. We train hard and it's an honor to fight in our home country, our hometown. I'm very happy to be a part of the past, the present and the future.
Jose Aldo: It means everything to me to be fighting in Brazil. It's where I got my start and it feels great to come back as champion. I've got to go back to training and do what I've always done.
Anthony Johnson: I weight 215 right now and I still feel great. The weight is gonna come off no problem. I end up cutting my last bit of weight the day before weigh-ins. This is easy. This is gonna be a lot of fun for me and I don't have to cut the weight I had to cut. I'm more explosive and I'm peaking at the right time.
Anthony Johnson: Right now, middleweight is where I am. I don't mind fighitng middleweights because I get to eat more now. I feel 1000 times better than when I fought at 170.
Chad Mendes: I don't care who Jose trains with. I train with some of the best guys in the world. It's what I've done my entire life and I don't take a year off ever. You can work with the best wrestler in the world but his wrestling is not going to be anywhere near mine.
Chad Mendes: Maynard doesn't know how good I am. He's just saying that because he's training with Aldo. I feel I'm prepared. My stand-up is gonna be good and my wrestling will be better.
Jose Aldo: It really doesn't make a difference. You're always gonna be training at about the time you're fighting. It all comes down to being prepared and being well-trained. It makes no difference if I'm fighting at day, night or morning.
Vitor Belfort: Yeah, if not now, sooner or later, UFC has everything. Not just the sport itself, but what's behind. The stories, the athletes, the video games. It's not just to overcome soccer, but as Dana was saying, it'll overcome every sport worldwide. We're proving that now, everybody cannot deny it. It's gonna take time but things are happening right now.
Chad Mendes: It's gonna be the biggest night of my career. I had a surreal moment the other night and I was watching the ball drop in time square and behind them, there was a big poster of me and Jose in the background. It was crazy to think that a little under three and a half years ago, I was in college. It's been a great ride and an awesome experience for me. I knew I would be good at the sport but to be fighting in the main event with 11 fights under my belt. It's awesome. I'm living the dream in Sacramento with my buddies and travelling around the world. I've got a short window to do this kind of stuff and I'm just taking every day one at a time and loving life.
Jose Aldo: The soccer teams in Brazil have a huge structure. They have great clubhouses and physical therapy that are great for MMA athletes. Soccer fans are fanatics though but soccer players from all around the world come back to represent their national team so that's how I look at it.
Chad Mendes: I have definitely seen things that give me confidence. I don't think he has holes or cracks in his game, but he has areas that he's not as strong. I'm learning fast and I feel great about every part of my game. His last two fights, I've watched a lot and it's helped me put together a great gameplan for this fight. Justin Bucholtz is one of my main gameplanners and coaches for this fight and I'm confident that I'm gonna be able to do it.
Chad Mendes: I'm in the best spot possible. I think Jose has all the pressure on his shoulders. He's the one fighting in his home crowd, he's the one with the belt. I feel my skills are enough to beat him and all the pressure is on him.
Chad Mendes: I think a lot of fighters get in there and try to stand in front of him too much. You've got to keep the pressure on Jose. He's the type of fighter who wilts. He has pinpoint accuracy and fighters need to get in there and get their hands on him more. I don't think any of the guys that fought him have the wrestling credentials or ability to get him to the ground and hold him there. I feel my skills are the key to beating a guy like Jose.
Vitor Belfort: I feel ready. I feel like I take it one step at a time. I have Anthony Johnson on the 14th and that's what's on my mind. I'm going through the routine right now, cutting weight to the day of the fight. I'm enjoying every moment possible. That's how I see it.
Jose Aldo: It was a great pleasure having Gray Maynard down in Rio. I feel Gray coming down these last two weeks gave me a lot of pointers when I'm facing a great wrestler. He's helped a lot in the gym.
Jose Aldo: Nobody's perfect. Everyone has holes in their game including myself. I've watched a lot of tape but it all comes down to training and if I can impose my will and see if what I saw can help.
Chad Mendes: We figured out his strengths and weaknesses. We've gone over situations and we've come up with something that's gonna be great for the 14th.
Jose Aldo: I trust my trainers' judgement about moving to 155.
That's a wrap, folks.