The world's premier mixed martial arts organization will return to Brazil this Saturday, as UFC 142 will take place at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janiero with champion Jose Aldo looking to defend his title against the touted Chad Mendes.
Though the 145-pound greats will be headlining the pay-per-view event, there are many other notable bouts and happenings that will occur this weekend that fans should tune in to.
Once coveted as one of the best featherweights in the world, submission whiz Antonio Carvalho will finally be making his UFC debut when he takes on the talented Felipe Arantes this Saturday.
Carvalho owns notable victories over the likes of Takeshi Inoue, Rumnia Sato and UFC veterans Doug Evans and Hatsu Hioki—who is widely considered to be among the top 5 in the division.
Former UFC title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga will now be returning to the Octagon after a short stint saw the heavyweight notable ousted from the promotion.
After earning an impressive knockout victory over Mirko Cro Cop in April 2007, Gonzaga went 3-5 in his next eight outings. However, the Brazilian has since bounced back with a submission victory over Parker Porter last October.
Gonzaga now meets Ednaldo Oliveira this Saturday, replacing an injured Rob Broughton.
After suffering the loss of his friend, teammate and brother-in-law in Shawn Tompkins last August, Sam Stout will now be returning to the Octagon this Saturday when he takes on Brazil's own Thiago Tavares.
The Canadian was originally scheduled to face off against then-top contender Dennis Siver at UFC 137, but he opted to pull out of the bout following the loss of Tompkins, who passed due to a heart attack in his sleep.
In a fan-friendly battle, lightweight notables Edson Barboza and Terry Etim will meet one another this Saturday to kick off the pay-per-view broadcast.
Barboza is undefeated in the UFC, having dispatched the likes of Mike Lullo, Anthony Njokuani and Ross Pearson in succession. Now, the Brazilian will take on arguably his toughest test to date when he faces Terry Etim, a former top contender in the division.
Expect fireworks with the winner being just a few moves away from a shot at the title.
Welterweight prospect Erick Silva takes on WEC veteran Carlo Prater, who stepped up on short notice after Siyar Bahadurzada fell out due to injury.
Silva is only once beaten in his career and in his last outing notched up an impressive first round TKO victory over fellow countryman Luis Ramos, who succumbed to the heavy hands of Silva in just 40 seconds, making an emphatic UFC debut.
Silva will go 2-0 in the organization when he bests Prater, who will not be able to keep up with the whirlwind dervish that is the Black House fighter.
Though Palhares has been unable to earn a victory over legitimate top flight competition, the submission powerhouse makes lesser opposition look novice in comparison.
Expect the same when "Toquinho" takes on Mike Massenzio, a wrestling whiz who will become another highlight reel in the list of Palhares' accolades inside the Octagon.
Arguably two of the division's hardest hitting middleweights, Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson meet in the co-main event of the evening.
Throughout their respective careers, Belfort and Johnson have cultivated a loyal fan following thanks to their head severing finishes against many formidable opponents.
The picture is deceiving, but it's only used to illustrate that Johnson will come out ahead.
Now that the heavy hitter will jump up to the middleweight class, there will be less strain on his body cutting the daunting amount of weight, as he will now enjoy the more 15-pound addition.
As his conditioning improves, Johnson will be able to use his underrated collegiate wrestling skills in order to move the fight to the ground at any given moment, letting him dictate the pace of the action. After three rounds "Rumble" will take home the decision win.
In the main event of the evening, Jose Aldo will take on arguably his toughest test to date when he goes up against Chad Mendes.
The Team Alpha Male stud follows the stereotypical wrestling prerequisite that follows all of the Sacramento crew, hailing from a decorated collegiate background which saw Mendes place second in 2008 at the NCAA Division I championships.
Though Aldo is only once beaten in his career, wrestling has shown to be his Achilles heel, making Mendes his toughest test to date stylistically .
He'll never be a strong wrestler, but what Aldo does possess is a well-rounded array of skills.
A powerful striker and underrated jiu-jitsu practitioner, holding a black belt under Andre Pederneiras—the same man who bestowed BJ Penn with that honor—Aldo is too much for Mendes at this point of his career, as the Brazilian will force him to stand and trade with him thanks to his budding takedown defense.
A finish may elude him again, though Aldo will do just enough to take home a decision win, setting him further apart from the rest in the 145-pound class.