Click below for the UFC 142 Main Event report
Jose Aldo left the building. Well, at least he left the Octagon at the HSBC Arena seconds after he defended his UFC featherweight title Saturday night with a stirring first round knockout of Chad Mendes, celebrating with his fans and putting a cap on a triumphant night for the Brazilians at UFC 142 in Rio de Janeiro.
The defense was Aldo’s third successful one since debuting in the UFC in 2011, and his first finish in the Octagon.
“This is the spirit I wanted to come out with tonight," said Aldo. "The
fans here gave me so much energy. We knew Chad was going to try to take me off
my feet. We prepared for that and I had a chance to land the knee. It connected
and I finished the fight. I was so overcome with emotion that I wanted to
celebrate with my people.”“Jose’s a great champion,” said Mendes. “He’s a tough dude. That was the best I felt for any fight, and he got me.”
Mendes fired off inside leg kicks to start the bout, taking a page out of Aldo’s playbook. Aldo returned fire though, showing Mendes immediately who had more heat on the fastball. A minute in, Mendes missed on his first takedown attempt, and Aldo continued to keep him at bay with his kicks and the threat of more, tossing aside any further attempts by the American to put him on his back. Finally, with a minute left, Mendes bulled Aldo to the fence and took his back while standing. An initial slam attempt by Mendes saw Aldo get a warning for holding the fence, with the second only seeing the champion hit the deck briefly. When Aldo did get free, he spun and caught Mendes with a perfect left knee to the head, dropping him to the canvas. A follow up right hand finished the job, with referee Mario Yamasaki halting the bout at 4:59 of the round, sending the crowd into a frenzy and Aldo running into the crowd, where he celebrated with his fans and his team before returning minutes later for the official particulars to be announced.
“I knew he was going to go for my legs and I knew how to throw that knee,” said Aldo. “Thankfully, I was able to put it in the right spot.”
With the win, Aldo ups his record to 21-1; Mendes falls to 11-1.