A lot of fight booking news today, Potato Nation.
With a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes, the UFC debut of Siyar Bahadurzada, and some guaranteed fireworks in the Belfort/Johnson and Etim/Barboza scraps, UFC 142 is shaping up to be one hell of a card. But if, like me, you don’t get excited for a fight that lacks an outside possibility of descending into utter chaos, involving limb loss, premature celebration, and a lack of respect for the referee bordering on Earl Hebner levels of insanity, then boy are you in for a treat.
News broke earlier today that our favorite little appendage manipulator, Rousimar Palhares, has agreed to face New Jersey’s Mike Massenzio at UFC 142 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. And although allowing Palhares to compete in his home country nearly cost him a victory over Dan Miller (who is also a Jersey native, ironically) in his last bout, “Toquinho” will no doubt be looking to impress against Massenzio, who may be fighting for his UFC career come January 14th. Just 1-3 in his last 4 UFC bouts (2-4 overall), Massenzio most recently scored a unanimous decision victory over the similarly struggling Steve Cantwell at UFC 136, making it Cantwell’s fourth straight decision loss in as many contests.
Elsewhere in the MMA world, an interesting featherweight contest between Nam Phan and Jim Hettes has been added to UFC 141, which goes down at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on December 30th. Phan is coming off a wild decision victory over Leonard Garcia, also at UFC 136, that saw the TUF 12 contestant erase the controversial decision he dropped to Garcia back at the TUF 12 Finale nearly a year ago.
Hettes, a submission fighter out of Pennsylvania, made his octagon debut as a last minute replacement for Leonard Garcia, coincidentally, and snagged a quick submission victory over Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres at UFC Live: Lytle vs. Hardy back in August. Aquiring all of his 9 victories by submission, it will be intriguing to see if “The Kid” is able to overcome Phan’s precise striking attack.