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UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship on January 14, 2012, at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was the first UFC event of the year and was broadcast live on pay-per-view in North America.
The main event of UFC 142 featured featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending his title against challenger Chad Mendes.
The pair exchanged low kicks to begin the fight, then each landed harder ones right after. Mendes shot in for his first takedown but was off the mark and Aldo easily stepped away. Another good low kick landed from Aldo, who then delivered a nice uppercut a few moments later. Mendes attempted to counter the uppercut with a double-leg shot, but Aldo defended it well. Aldo again avoided a takedown attempt after whiffing on an uppercut. Mendes landed a low kick, though they were clearly not as powerful as those from the champion. Aldo left himself exposed on his next low kick attempt, managed to stay standing, but was in a rear body lock from Mendes and was in danger of being slammed to the ground. In the final seconds of the round, Aldo spun free and landed a vicious knee that sent Mendes flying onto his back. Aldo rushed forward with a right-hand bomb then a final left hand that put Mendes out with 1 second remaining in the round.
Aldo proceeded to run out of the Octagon immediately after putting Mendes down, and a crazy scene ensued as the Brazilian audience enveloped him. Speaking a few minutes later to Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview through his translator, Aldo commented, “I knew he was going to try and go for my legs and I knew to throw that knee, and thankfully it hit the right spot… I can only thank my team, I’m nobody without my team.”