Las Vegas, Nevada – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® returns to Brazil this weekend with UFC RIO™: ALDO vs. MENDES.
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will face No. 1 challenger Chad Mendes, while middleweight co-main event stars Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson collide.
All fighters have checked into the host hotel in Rio, and had this to say regarding this Saturday’s clashes.
Jose Aldo, UFC featherweight champion
“This will be my first time headlining at UFC. I’m very happy to be a part of this event. I’m anxious to hear the crowd screaming as I walk inside. I just can’t wait to feel that energy.
“About his speed, it won’t be a problem. He’s always been an explosive fighter, but I’m an explosive fighter as well. I’ve been training jiu-jitsu since I was a kid, so if we both hit the ground, I will be the one with the advantage.
“Chad’s style of fighting is very similar to (his coach and former Aldo challenger) Urijah Faber’s. The height, the wrestling, the way they move…they are very similar. Mendes is younger than Faber, but it’s basically the same type of fight for me.
“Mendes has got a disadvantage fighting me on his feet. He’s not as good a boxer as the other guys I have faced and I don’t think he can do well standing up in this fight. I will be looking for a knockout or a submission.
“I will defeat Chad Mendes.”
Chad Mendes, No. 1 featherweight contender
“I believe in my skills and knew that if I trained hard and fought right, things would work out for me and they did.
“These guys that have black belts in jiu-jitsu, I’ve pretty much just shut them down basically because of my athleticism and my strength. I think it’s going to be tough for him to throw any kind of submission when I’m on top punching him in the face. I don’t think he’s got this big advantage on the ground.
“Jose Aldo is a great champion, but I don’t think he’s fought anybody with the athleticism, the strength, and the wrestling background that I have. I don’t shoot; I blast people of their feet with my takedowns.
“I’m going to go to Brazil and I’m going to take that belt from Aldo. I’m the next featherweight champion of the world. It happens for me this Saturday and it is time to prove myself.”
Vitor Belfort, UFC middleweight
“I’m going to test his heart and I’m going to be 100 percent for him and he’s going to face a hungry, hungry lion. I have faith in my ability. No man can stand against me when I am in this frame of mind. I am very happy to represent Brazil and am looking forward to this week and enjoying the UFC being here. But once I am in the Octagon, and the door slams shut, it is all business.
“Anthony Johnson will be defeated in my homeland.”
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson
“Moving up to face Vitor was a new chapter in my life, a new challenge. I’m going to stay here and I’m going to take over this weight class.
“I’m going to use everything in my power to dominate Vitor in every way possible.
“He’s fast, he’s powerful, he has a lot of experience, but my right hand is his Kryptonite.
“I will dominate Vitor Belfort. Chael Sonnen is seen as the top threat to Anderson Silva’s title Well, I am at 185-pounds and everyone at middleweight has to worry about me now. I’m in this division to go to the top. You will see a whole different animal now I am at this weight class.”