Palhares gets second straight fight in native country
A fight between a pair of middleweights has been added to the UFC’s quick-turnaround return to Brazil in January.
UFC 142 will be the UFC’s second trip to Brazil in five months. In August, the promotion hosted its first card in the South American country since October 1998, playing to an enthusiastic crowd that saw favorite countryman Anderson Silva defend his middleweight title against Yushin Okami. Like UFC 134, UFC 142 is also expected to take place at the HSBC Arena in Rio.
Palhares (13-3, 6-2 UFC) is riding a two-fight winning streak. At UFC 134, he won a unanimous decision against Dan Miller. Prior to that, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt submitted Dave Branch with a kneebar at UFC on Versus 3. Nine of “Toquinho’s” 13 career victories have come by submission.
Massenzio (13-5, 2-3 UFC) last fought at UFC 136 last month, where he returned to the middleweight division after a one-off fight at light heavyweight. He beat former WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell by unanimous decision in Houston to get back in the win column after a loss to Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 131 – a fight he took on three days notice and moved up to 205 pounds for. In his second stint with the UFC, Massenzio is looking for his first winning streak since 2007.
UFC 142 is expected to feature a main event featherweight title fight between Brazilian champion Jose Aldo and unbeaten challenger Chad Mendes. In addition, Anthony Johnson will move up to middleweight to fight Brazilian legend Vitor Belfort.