UFC 142 experienced early controversy, as Anthony “Rumble” Johnson failed to make weight. Johnson, who moved up to Middleweight (185 lbs) from Welterweight (170 lbs) because of problems making weight, failed to do so for the third time on Friday. Earlier on, Johnson was on pace to make weight, but became ill, and at the urging of UFC doctors, was given fluids. Because of this, Rumble Johnson weighed in at 197, while his opponent, Vitor Belfort made weight, and received %20 of Johnson’s purse. Belfort also stipulated that Johnson couldn’t weigh more than 205 pounds the day of the fight, a stipulation in which was met.
A lot of people were giving Johnson trash over the situation, but it really wasn’t up to him. When you are given instructions by the UFC doctors, you follow them, or you don’t fight. After all, Vitor Belfort didn’t care, so why should you?
All of that didn’t seem to matter in the long run, as before entering the cage, Johnson weighed 211, and Belfort weighed in at 206. Rumble attacked early, taking down Belfort, making an attempt to ground and pound the UFC veteran. However, Belfort managed to stuff one of Johnson’s takedown attempts, and soon after choked Johnson out with a rear-naked choke. Johnson noted afterwards that he got tired as a result of the weight cut. It remains to be seen whether or not his job is on the line, but I wouldn’t rule out seeing him compete in Strikeforce as a favor to Zuffa.
Prospect Erick Silva had some tough luck in the form of a questionable DQ loss to Carlo Prater. What looked to be a TKO victory was ruled in the favor of Prater, as Mario Yamasaki said Silva’s shots were illegal punches to the back of Prater’s head. It was almost unanimously agreed that this DQ was unwarranted, and quite frankly, extremely LAME. Silva dominated immediately, and should have been awarded the victory.
Unstoppable Jose Aldo retained his Featherweight title in impressive fashion, knocking the previously undefeated Chad Mendes out with a huge lunging shot, following a knee to the head. Aldo was able to prevent the takedown of Mendes, which was really the only chance the challenger seemed to have. Aldo and Mendes exchanged leg kicks early, and to make it blunt…that is stupid. The only way I’d ever trade kicks with Jose Aldo is if he was paralyzed, and I’d still probably ask that he wear shin guards.
Following the fight, which was won with one second remaining in the first round, Aldo darted from the cage, and into the crowd, where he was mobbed by his adoring fans. This was truly one of the most unique sights in MMA history, although Aldo was probably just running from the cage before Mario Yamasaki could disqualify him for something
Former UFC Heavyweight Title Contender Gabriel Gonzaga made his UFC return, facing unbeaten Ednaldo Oliveira. Gonzaga quicky submitted Oliveira with a rear naked choke in the first round, after wrestling him to the ground. The blaringly obvious difference in this bout, was the fact that Gonzaga has traveled the world and refined his skills, particularly in wrestling, where Oliveira hasn’t, as he’s been restricted to Brazil (having fought all 15 of his fights there). After filling in as an injury replacement for Rob Broughton, Gonzaga has earned his way back into the UFC.
Although Gonzaga isn’t at the level he once was, I loved seeing such a familiar name on the prelims. I think the UFC needs more of this to bring in viewers to FX and Fuel. I’m familiar with nearly all of the fighters, but when you see a guy who main-evented a PPV in a free fight, you stop flipping channels.
Other highlights from the electric Brazil card, was Yuri Alcantara nearly breaking Michihiro Omigawa’s arm with a very deep armbar, before being saved by the bell. The very inconsistent Omigawa showed incredible fortitude by returning to fight in the second round, where I would have likely weeped in the corner on my little stool. However, Alcantara displayed a very well-rounded game, and dominated the well-known featherweight.
Speaking of almost losing appendages, Rousimar Palhares did what he does best; rip people’s legs off. Poor Mike Massenzio, fell for the old “I’m going to pretend to shoot a double leg, but instead pull a really low guard and tear your ACL apart” gag. Palhares is ridiculous at 185 pounds. Somebody please, call his momma.
Oh yeah. There was also….THIS
Edson Barboza absolutely sent Terry Etim into orbit. This is hands down, the most impressive knockout I’ve seen in MMA. Even more impressive, it isn’t the first time I’ve seen Barboza land the kick, as he did it at UFC 128 as well, with less spectacular results. With his victory, Barboza moves to 4-0 in the UFC, with all of those wins coming in the past 14 months. I’d expect a major step up in competition for him soon.
Before I leave, I figured I’d drop a nugget of info for you loyal readers. I was told this afternoon the Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem is currently the backup plan for the next UFC in Brazil card, if Anderson Silva wouldn’t be healed from his injury. Take that, digest it, enjoy it. Another stat to enjoy? Brazilians are 15-2 against foreign fighters over the course of the two Brazilian UFC show. Yikes