The UFC is back tonight with its first card of 2012. Jose Aldo (20-1) defends his UFC Featherweight Title against undefeated challenger Chad Mendes (11-0). UFC 142 takes place at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Middleweights Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson clash in the co-main event.
At 6 PM the action switches over to FX, which as part of the new UFC/FOX deal will begin to air preliminary cards for UFC pay-per-views. Brazilians Thiago Tavares and Gabriel Gonzaga fight in separate bouts as part of the four fight card on the cable network.
At 8 PM the pay-per-view portion of the event begins. The card is stacked with mostly Brazilians (at least one in each of the five main card fights), former welterweight Anthony Johnson was supposed to make his middleweight debut at this event, however he failed to make weight and the fight will be fought at a catchweight with the condition being Johnson cannot weigh more than 205-pounds on fight night.
The evening culminates in a fight for the UFC featherweight Title. Chad Mendes, a former NCAA All-American wrestler, will look to dethrone UFC featherweight king Jose Aldo. Aldo has not lost a fight since 2005 and is on a 13-fight winning streak.
Full fight card with odds and predictions below.
Main Card (8 PM, PPV):
UFC Featherweight Championship: Jose Aldo (-325) vs. Chad Mendes (+250)
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Aldo via unanimous decision
Catchweight (197-pounds): Vitor Belfort (-120) vs. Anthony Johnson (-110)
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Belfort via first round KO
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Palhares via second round submission
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Silva via second round KO
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Barboza via unanimous decision
Preliminary Card (6 PM, FX):
Lightweight: Thiago Tavares (-130) vs. Sam Stout (EVEN)
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Tavares via unanimous decision
Heavyweight: Gabriel Gonzaga (-125) vs. Ednaldo Oliveira (-105)
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Oliveira via first round KO
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Omigawa via unanimous decision
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Pyle via unanimous decision
Preliminary Card (5:30 PM, Facebook)
Featherweight: Felipe Arantes (+175) vs. Antonio Carvalho (-225)
SB Nation Arizona Predicts: Carvalho via unanimous decision
For blow-by-blow coverage of UFC 142 and full fight night results follow MMA Nation