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UFC 142 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Jose Aldo could cap off a memorable night for Brazilian fighters

When the UFC traveled to Rio de Janeiro last year, a Brazilian emerged victorious in 10 of the 12 fights on the card.

It would shock no one if UFC 142, which takes place Saturday in Rio at the HSBC Arena, plays out similarly. Oddsmakers have installed a Brazilian as the favorite in eight of the 10 fights scheduled for the event, which starts with a preliminary card at 5 on FX before switching to pay-per-view at 7.

In total, 12 Brazilians will compete in the octagon Saturday night. Jose Aldo has the most at risk as the -250 (risking $2.50 to win $1) favorite puts his featherweight belt at risk against Chad Mendes, who comes back at odds of +200.

All five members of the Las Vegas Sun’s picks panel side with Aldo in the bout.

With the new year, records will reset to 0-0 for the prognosticators. Las Vegas Sun’s Case Keefer won the 2011 title by percentage points with a 123-75 record. It barely edged out a 103-63 record from ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto. KSNV’s Kevin West and ESPN Radio/Cagewriter.com’s Steve Cofield finished at 119-79 and 118-80, respectively.

Check below for picks from Keefer, Okamoto, Cofield, West and Las Vegas Sun sports editor Ray Brewer as well as betting odds and a breakdown of every fight.

Chad Mendes

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’6''
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 11-0
  • Out of: Sacramento, Calif.
  • Betting line: +200

Jose Aldo

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’7''
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 20-1
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: -250

Featherweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Rani Yahya at UFC 133.

Punch list: No one has ever seriously challenged Mendes, because they can’t combat his wrestling. He’s had a lot of time to think about Aldo, as UFC President Dana White originally announced the two would fight nine months ago. An injury to Aldo and Mendes’ persistence on staying active pushed the fight back to now.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Aldo

Cofield: Aldo

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory against Kenny Florian at UFC 136.

Punch list: His spot at the top of pound-for-pound lists has slipped, but not too far. Most would still rank Aldo in the top five, even though he was unanimously in the top three at this time last year. Less than dominant wins against Florian and Mark Hominick negatively altered his standing.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Aldo

Brewer: Aldo

Okamoto: Aldo

Anthony Johnson

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 171
  • UFC record 7-3
  • MMA record 10-3
  • Out of: Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Betting line: -115

Vitor Belfort

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’0''
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 9-5
  • MMA record 20-9
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -115

Middleweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: First round TKO victory over Charlie Brenneman at UFC on Versus 6.

Punch list: Johnson was the biggest welterweight to ever live. Now that he’s moving up to middleweight, he’s still one of the bigger fighters in the weight class. Will Johnson feel fresher in the 185-pound division without putting his body through the torture of making 170 pounds? That’s the question of this fight.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Belfort

Cofield: Johnson

Last fight: Defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama by first round TKO at UFC 133.

Punch list: Belfort is more of a wrecking ball than ever before. Since returning to the UFC in 2009, all three of his fights have ended in a first round knockout. He beat up Akiyama and Rich Franklin, while falling victim to Anderson Silva’s infamous front kick at UFC 126. The power in Belfort’s hands is arguably unmatched in all of mixed martial arts.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Belfort

Brewer: Belfort

Okamoto: Belfort

Mike Massenzio

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 2-3
  • MMA record 13-5
  • Out of: Paterson, N.J.
  • Betting line: +400

Rousimar Palhares

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’8’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 6-2
  • MMA record 22-3
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: -550

Middleweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory over Steve Cantwell at UFC 136.

Punch list: “The Master of Disaster” put on the best performance of his UFC career against Cantwell. Although he’s not on the level of Palhares, Massenzio is also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. His foremost strength, however, is his high-level wresting.

Staff picks:KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Palhares

Cofield: Palhares

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory over Dan Miler at UFC 134.

Punch list: If he can limit his tendency to get loony, the prevailing thought is that Palhares should roll over Massenzio. Palhares has a long history of prevailing in the UFC, but it’s overshadowed by some memorable gaffes. Most recently, he jumped on top of the cage in celebration during the Miller fight before the referee had stopped the action.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Palhares

Brewer: Massenzio

Okamoto: Palhares

Carlo Prater

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’11''
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 29-10-1
  • Out of: Brasilia, Brazil
  • Betting line: +400

Erick Silva

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’11''
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 13-1
  • Out of: Vila Velha, Brazil
  • Betting line: -550

Welterweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Fight

Last fight: Second round submission victory over Gleristone Santos at Capital Fight 4.

Punch list: The veteran, who fought twice in the WEC, finally gets a shot in the UFC after putting together a four-fight winning streak in regional promotions. The opportunity did come at the expense of one of the best matchups on the card, however, as prospect Siyar Bahadurzada was set to make his debut against Silva before an injury.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Prater

Cofield: Prater

Last fight: First round knockout over Luis Ramos at UFC 134.

Punch list: He’s not related to Anderson Silva, but he does train with him. And Anderson has hinted that Erick is good enough to someday hold the UFC belt in the 170-pound division. He looked phenomenal in his debut, putting fellow highly-touted prospect Luis Ramos to sleep in 40 seconds.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Silva

Brewer: Prater

Okamoto: Silva

Terry Etim

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 6-3
  • MMA record 15-3
  • Out of: Liverpool, England
  • Betting line: +230

Edson Barboza

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 9-0
  • Out of: Jupiter, Fla.
  • Betting line: -290

Lightweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Opener

Last fight: Submitted Edward Faaloloto in the first round at UFC 138.

Punch list: Injuries halted Etim’s career for a year-and-a-half, but he’s back and wanting to keep busy now. He made quick work of Faaloloto, 17 seconds to be exact, and will look to do the same against Barboza. Etim is no slouch in the kickboxing realm, but its his grappling that’s stood out in the UFC with five submission victories.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Barboza

Cofield: Etim

Last fight: Split decision victory against Ross Pearson at UFC 134.

Punch list: Barboza has looked great in each of his first three fights in the octagon, but he’s never been taken out of his comfort zone. He’s a striker who has fought strikers. Etim offers a whole new challenge. If Barboza is a legitimate contender, he should be able to handle different kinds of fighters like Etim.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Barboza

Brewer: Barboza

Okamoto: Barboza

Sam Stout

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 6-5
  • MMA record 18-6-1
  • Out of: London, Ontario, Canada
  • Betting line: Even

Thiago Tavares

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’7’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 6-4-1
  • MMA record 20-4-1
  • Out of: Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Betting line: -130

Lightweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: First round knockout of Yves Edwards at UFC 131.

Punch list: Stout never wanted to take seven months off, but plans changed after the death of long-time trainer Shawn Tompkins. “Hands of Stone” has won two in a row. Add a couple more and the six-year UFC veteran is right up there ready to challenge for the title.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Tavares

Cofield: Stout

Last fight: Second round TKO victory over Spencer Fisher at UFC 134.

Punch list: Tavares wiped away any concerns he had slipped in his last fight. He was only 1-1-1 in his last three going into the near pick’em bout with Fisher, but he dominated in every aspect for eight minutes before finishing.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Stout

Brewer: Stout

Okamoto: Stout

Ednaldo Oliveira

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’5’’
  • Weight: 238
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 13-0-1
  • Out of: Salvador, Brazil
  • Betting line: Even

Gabriel Gonzaga

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 242
  • UFC record 7-5
  • MMA record 12-6
  • Out of: Ludlow, Mass.
  • Betting line: -130

Heavyweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: First round knockout victory against Nalzinho Novaes at Minotauro Fights 6.

Punch list: Oliveira gets a shot in the octagon after a recommendation from UFC champion Junior dos Santos. Oliveira trains alongside dos Santos and has helped him reached the pinnacle of mixed martial arts. But he’s never faced anyone with close to the experience of Gonzaga.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Oliveira

Cofield: Gonzaga

Last fight: Third round submission victory over Parker Porter at Reality Fighting: Gonzaga vs. Porter.

Punch list: Gonzaga is best remembered for two things — his head kick knockout of Mirko Cro Cop and championship loss to Randy Couture. But that was five years ago and Gonzaga is no longer the same. He lost three of four UFC fights from 2009-2010, which led to his release before getting re-signed for this event.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Oliveira

Brewer: Gonzaga

Okamoto: Oliveira

Michihiro Omigawa

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 5’6’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 1-4
  • MMA record 13-10-1
  • Out of: Tokyo, Japan
  • Betting line: +150

Yuri Alcantara

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’6’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 25-3
  • Out of: Soure, Brazil
  • Betting line: -190

Featherweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Jason Young at UFC 138.

Punch list: Omigawa had to breathe a sigh of relief after his last fight, where he avoided becoming the first UFC fighter to ever go 0-5 in the promotion. The judoka can now focus on climbing his way up the 145-pound ranks, which despite the octagon struggles many believe he’s still capable of.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Omigawa

Cofield: Omigawa

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory over Felipe Arantes at UFC 134.

Punch list: He’s won 12 fights in a row with only the last victory going to a decision. Alacantara prides himself on being a finisher, as he has 10 victories by knockout and 12 by submission. This is his second straight fight taking place in Rio.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Omigawa

Brewer: Alcantara

Okamoto: Alcantara

Mike Pyle

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 4-3
  • MMA record 21-8-1
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -450

Ricardo Funch

  • Age:31
  • Height: 5’`10’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 8-2
  • Out of: Ludlow, Mass.
  • Betting line: +350

Welterweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: First round TKO defeat to Rory MacDonald at UFC 133.

Punch list: The beat down Pyle received from MacDonald was humbling. He entered the bout on a three-fight winning streak and thought it was his time. But the gritty 13-year veteran of the sport remains a tough matchup for anyone at welterweight.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Pyle

Cofield: Pyle

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory over Ryan Quinn at Premier Fighting Championships 7.

Punch list: The Brazilian’s first UFC run was unspectacular to say the least, with losses to Johny Hendricks and Claude Patrick. But Funch, who now works as a police officer, got back into the picture after an injury to Paulo Thiago, Pyle’s original opponent. Funch is undefeated outside of the octagon.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Pyle

Brewer: Pyle

Okamoto: Pyle

Antonio Carvalho

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 13-4
  • Out of: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Betting line: -215

Felipe Arantes

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 5’8’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 13-4
  • Out of: Newark, N.J.
  • Betting line: +175

Featherweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory over Doug Evans at Score Fighting Series 1.

Punch list: Many consider Hatsu Hioki the second best 145-pound fighter in the world. Carvalho beat him four years ago. But the Canadian also has some losses that stick out on his record. He’s well rounded and has no preference whether the fight plays out on the ground or standing up.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Arantes

Cofield: Arantes

Last fight: Unanimous decision defeat to Yuri Alcantara at UFC 134.

Punch list: The Brazilian returns home for his second fight there in five months. He might need a win against Carvalho to keep his job. Arantes didn’t stand out in his UFC debut, arguably losing every round and getting shut out by Alcantara.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Carvalho

Brewer: Carvalho

Okamoto: Arantes

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