Featherweight Championship: José Aldo © (win) vs. Chad Mendes
Catchweight (197 lb) bout: Vitor Belfort (win) vs. Anthony Johnson
Middleweight bout: Rousimar Palhares (win) vs. Mike Massenzio
Welterweight bout: Erick Silva (win) vs. Carlo Prater
Lightweight bout: Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim (win)
Welterweight bout: Ricardo Funch vs. Mike Pyle
Featherweight bout: Yuri Alcantara vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Heavyweight bout: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ednaldo Oliveira
Lightweight bout: Thiago Tavares vs. Sam Stout
Featherweight bout: Felipe Arantes vs. Antonio Carvalho
Jose Aldo has this one. He's fighting in front of the home crowd, he looked good against Kenny Florian last time out. He looked initially good against Mark Hominick, and he was pretty brutal against Everyone else. Watch this double flying knee against Cub Swanson. Chad has a 11-0 record, which is excellent, but I just don't see anything but a Aldo win. The only chance that Chad Mendes has is to take Aldo down, then stay on top for the 5 rounds. I hope this doesn't happen.
Vitor Belfort vs Anthony Johnson is the fight that everyone it talking about. It was set to be a good fight anyway, but now that Johnson has missed weight by a massive amount (11 pounds over), this fight just got even more intense. A lot of people see missing weight to be a big sign of disrespect, and being over that much is even more so. There are reports that Johnson was very close to making weight, then felt ill. The doctors advised that he stopped the weight cut as a result of this. Johnson weighed in at 197, and has been told that he cannot go above 205 for the fight. This could pose a problem for him as he walks around much heavier than this.
If you don't know much about Vitor Belfort, then take a look at the highlights video. His record is 20-9, but you need to look at who he has fought. He KO'd Sexyama in his last outing, lost to Anderson Silva with that brutal front kick to the face and KO'd Rich Franklin in his most recent outings. He's faced Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. Back in 1997 he won the UFC Heavyweight Tournament. Don't forget to check out Vitor's wife either.
Anthony Johnson is a good fighter, but I didn't think he was going to beat Belfort before the weighin, and now that he's missed weight, meant to be ill and not able to go over 205, I just don't see him winning. But imagine if he wins!!!! How will the crowd react to that. The Rio crowd will surely feel as though their hero Belfort has been robbed. Trouble could be brewing.
Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Massenzio. Last time we saw Palhares (who is built) was in UFC Brazil last year. He thought he had Dan Miller beat, so he jumped on the top of the cage to celebrate, only be to told that the fight was not over! He was soon after almost knocked out himself, but came back to win. I don't know much about Massenzio, othe rthan he has lost to Krysztof Soszynski, Brian Stann and C.B. Dollaway. His record is 13-5, he's lost 5 of his last 7, and he tends to win via submission or decision. I can only see victory for Palhares in this one. I know you shouldn't judge them just on the stats, but the stats in this one do paint a picture heavily in favour of Palhares who has fought much bigger names (Dan Henderson and Jeremy Horn).
On the rest of the card, watch out for Erick Silva who won at UFC Brazil in 30 seconds. Also Terry Etim who won in 17 SECONDS in his last UFC bought, winning submission of the night.
The crowd was very much up for the UFC when they visited last year, and I'm expecting much the same this time around. It's gonna be good tonight, for sure.