UFC 142 Predictions: Which Fight Will Steal the Show?
This weekend, the UFC will be returning to the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, where featherweight champion Jose Aldo will be taking on top contender Chad Mendes in the main event of the evening.
In the co-headliner former champion Vitor Belfort will be taking on the juggernaut heavy-hitter Anthony Johnson in his middleweight debut.
While a bevy of bouts will be eclipsing most others come fight time, there is one bout in particular that is poised to take over the show as a lightweight affair between contenders Terry Etim and Edson Barboza will kick off the pay-per-view's main card.
Etim recently returned to the win column when he defeated the unheralded Edward Faaloloto last November in just 17 seconds via guillotine choke. The victory earned him Submission of the Night honors for the impressive finish while also helping ease the pain of a near 18-month layoff which was incurred thanks to a nagging rib injury.
Though he's a talented striker as well, the Brit has shown that his strongest skills lie on the ground where he has garnered four Fight Night awards for victories over Matt Grice, Justin Buccholz, Shannon Gugerty and the aforementioned Faaloloto, respectively.
Barboza has been doing a bit of damage control of his own, as the surging star has kept his undefeated record intact since debuting in the UFC in November of 2010.
In his first bout under the Zuffa banner, Barboza sent Mike Lullo down in a heap after the lightweight endured the crippling leg kicks of Barboza for three rounds, before the Brazilian was declared the winner by TKO.
Next, the Florida transplant clinched Fight of the Night honors for his performances against fellow striking aces Anthony Njokuani and Ross Pearson, besting both men by his wide array of Muay Thai skills.
Though, with a victory, either Barboza or Etim will find themselves on the short list of contenders to the 155-pound title, this is a bout that promises fireworks from start to finish and as both men's records would indicate, they will both likely walk away with a little something extra in their pocket after it is all said and done.
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