UFC 142 Results
January 15, 2012 by staff
Competing in his home country for the first time since hitting the big-time as one of mixed-martial-arts top pound-for-pound fighters, Aldo retained his title with a knockout of No. 1 contender Chad Mendes in Saturday’s main event of UFC 142 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As memorable as the finish was, it paled in comparison to Aldo’s celebration.
The 25-year-old sprinted from the cage directly into the mass of humanity that was the raucous, sold-out crowd. Security needed almost as long to retrieve Aldo from the stands as it took him to finish Mendes.
“This is the spirit I wanted to come out with tonight. The fans here gave me so much energy,” said Aldo (21-1), who finished Mendes at 4:59 of the opening round.
Mendes, a world-class wrestler who once finished second in the NCAA tournament, went for a takedown late in the round, but wound up eating a perfectly-timed knee from Aldo that ended the bout with one second left in the first round.
“We knew Chad was going to try to take me off my feet,” said Aldo. “We prepared for that and I had a chance to land the knee. It connected and I finished the fight.
“I was so overcome with emotion that I wanted to celebrate with my people.”
As jubilant as was Aldo, Mendes was bitterly disappointed. He truly believed he had the skill set to become the first person since 2005 to defeat Aldo.
“Jose is a great champion and he was the better man tonight. He showed why he’s one of the best fighters in the world,” said Mendes (11-1).
“I knew it would be hard to take him down, but I kept trying. I tried to keep the pressure, but he is just so tough and his takedown defense is great. I wanted the title so bad.”
In other pay-per-view matches at UFC 142:
* Vitor Belfort (21-9) didn’t let any pre-fight drama affect his performance against Anthony Johnson (10-4).
After Johnson hit the scales Friday at 197 pounds for their fight in the middleweight division – and its 185-pound weight limit – there was chatter that the co-main event would be cancelled. Instead, the two fighters agreed on a 197-pound catchweight and that Johnson wouldn’t exceed 205 pounds in the hours before the match.
Despite all the potential distractions, Belfort took care of business, submitting Johnson via rear-n*ked choke at 4:49 of the first round.
“I didn’t stop the entire fight. He kept trying to take me down and I kept fighting it. ‘Make him quit.’ That was my goal and I did just that,” said the iconic Brazilian.
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