It’s 2012, time for a fresh start. A new year and new contracts. The UFC moves forward with their partnership with Fox Broadcasting company with UFC 142: Aldo vs Mendes live from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. Below are our views on this Brazilian packed card and our reasons why we think this will be another mind blowing card. Remember the preliminary fights will be on FX, check your local listings.
Brett Rorie –
Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim
Think of Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz when you think of this fight. In this bout you have the fast rising prospect in Barboza, going up against a guy who four years ago was in Barboza’s position. After consecutive losses to Gleison Tibau and Rich Clementi, Etim has rebounded by going 5-1 in his last 6 octagon appearances. Barboza has looked outstanding in stand-up wars against Anthony Njokuani and Ross Pearson, and is undefeated at 9-0 as a Professional. Expect Barboza to have an advantage in the standup department, due to his speed and power, but never count out Etim. The key for Etim is can he use his very good jiu-jitsu to test and unproven part of Barboza’s game. (Barboza is only a Purple Belt)
Prediction: Barboza via Unanimous Decision
Eric Silva vs. Carlo Prater
In Silva’s debut he completely ran through Luis Ramos. Silva, a Nogueira product, looks to really be an up and coming prospect at 170, but an experienced veteran in Carlo Prater is standing in his way. Prater (29-10) is an experienced vet who has defeated the likes of Spencer Fisher, Melvin Guillard, and Carlos Condit, but all of those wins happened a long time ago. If Silva is as good of a prospect as I think he is, then he will have no problem with Prater. If Silva is not a as well-round as I think, then Prater will win this fight, and I am sure of that.
Prediction: Silva via 2nd round KO
Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Massenzio
Wrestler vs. Jiu-Jitsu is the matchup in this next matchup. Massenzio is a good wrestler who showed much improved striking against Steve Cantwell in his last fight, but this is a HUGE step up. Palhares is a savage at Middleweight, who absolutely destroyed the very talented Dan Miller in his last fight. Palhares really has very underrated striking and will snap a fighters arm or leg at any moment. If Massenzio wants to win he needs to use his wrestling background to try and keep this fight standing, because if he does not, Palhares’s submission game is too deadly.
Prediction: Palhares via 1st round submission (Heel Hook)
Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson
I really wish I could have seen Johnson fight at 185 against someone else before I picked this fight, because I have no idea what to expect from him. Johnson has always been a prospect with unlimited potential, but he always had trouble making weight. Johnson now at the right weight should look very improved. Johnson does need to bring his best game though, because Vitor Belfort is the most talented opponent Johnson has ever faced. Vitor is the second best striker in the 185 pound division, along with a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. The only way I see Johnson winning this fight is by a one punch KO or by just smothering Belfort for 3 rounds, which either could very easily happen.
Prediction: Belfort via 2nd round TKO
UFC Featherweight Title Bout: ©Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes
“Good Luck” are the only two words I can really tell Chad Mendes in his upcoming fight with Aldo. Mendes really needs to get the fight to the mat ASAP. The bad thing about that is other great grapplers like Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, and Manny Gamburyan have had no such luck against Aldo. Do not get me wrong, Mendes deserves this shot with an 11-0 record. Mendes has well rounded skills, but after watching what Aldo did to Kenny Florian it is very hard seeing Mendes winning. If Mendes wants to win he needs to employ Randy Couture like strategy in wearing down Aldo by pressing him up against the fence.
Prediction: Aldo via 3rd round KO
Knockout of the Night: Aldo
Submission of the Night: Palhares
Fight of the Night: Thiago Tavares vs. Sam Stout