UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is preparing to put his title on the line for the third time in the Octagon. He faces a tough challenger in Chad Mendes, but while Mendes will try to steal the belt away, Aldo is looking to get back to his knockout form from his days as the WEC champion.
Aldo, Mendes, middleweight turned light heavyweight co-main eventers Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson, and the rest of the UFC 142 Rio cast stepped on the scale Friday evening local time in Rio de Janeiro to make the fights official.
There’s a lot of pressure on Aldo to come through on his home turf, but he is prepared, saying, “This is my home country and I’m going to do my best for everyone here.”
Mendes sees the fight as an opportunity to prove the naysayers that don’t believe he can upset the champ.
“This a great opportunity for me to come in here and show the world who I am,” said Mendes. “I have the opportunity to face a great champion like Jose Aldo and show the world who I am.”
Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson were supposed to fight at middleweight. Despite moving up from welterweight for the fight, Johnson still missed the mark, being 11 pounds too heavy. He and Belfort negotiated a fight at light heavyweight prior to the weigh-in, Johnson giving up 20 percent of his purse. The deal breaker, however, is that Johnson must weigh less than 205 pounds at 2 p.m. local time in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
UFC president Dana White blasted Johnson, calling him “totally unprofessional.”
Johnson, booed heavily at the weigh-in, consistently had trouble making weight in the past as a welterweight, so this latest gaffe doesn’t bode well for his UFC career.
Johnson weighed in at 197 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in; Belfort clocked in at the 186-pound limit.
The reminder of the card had no trouble making weight.
Main Card (on Pay-Per-View):
-Jose Aldo (145) vs. Chad Mendes (144)
-Vitor Belfort (186) vs. Anthony Johnson (197)
-Rousimar Palhares (186) vs. Mike Massenzio (184)
-Erick Silva (169) vs. Carlo Prater (170)
-Edson Barboza, Jr. (154) vs. Terry Etim (155)
Preliminary Bouts (on FX):
-Thiago Tavares (155) vs. Sam Stout (155)
-Gabriel Gonzaga (250) vs. Edinaldo Oliveira (229)
-Yuri Alcantara (145) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (146)
-Ricardo Funch (170) vs. Mike Pyle (171)
Preliminary Bout (on Facebook):
-Felipe Arantes (144) vs. Antonio Carvalho (145)