UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes will begin with some action in the FW division as Felipe Arantes (13-4-0 with 2 No Contests, 0-1 UFC) fights Antonio Carvalho (13-4). Their scrap will be the only bout on Facebook. which begins at 7:30 ET. The PPV begins 10 p.m ET / 7 p.m PT.
On the surface, the bout is incredibly low key, but Carvalho himself has roots against Shooto's elite, having fought and beat Hatsu Hioki in 2007 at Shooto's Back to Our Roots 3 show. He also engaged in a thrilling back and forth three, round slugfest with Dream's FW champion, Hiroyuki Takaya. The narrative for this fight will be whether or not Arantes can avoid going 0-2 in the UFC against a much more experienced FW.
How do these two stack up?
Carvalho: 32 years old | 5'8
Arantes: 23 years old | 5'8
What have these two done recently?
Carvalho: W - Douglas Evans | W - Juan Barrantes | W - Eddie Fyvie
Arantes: L - Yuri Alcantara | NC - Andy Main | W - Marcelo Dutra
How did these two get here?
Arantes is essentially a poor man's version of Carvalho in my opinion. Most of his experience has been cutting his teeth in Brazil's amateur circuit, mostly from Paranagua Fight. He's relatively well rounded, but ultimately just a jack of all trades scrapper.
The real story is whether or not Carvalho can regain the momentum he once had. After a crushing loss to Yuji Hoshina in Cage Force, he's since dealt with injuries that at one point kept him out of the fight game for essentially two years. And that was before an equally crushing loss in the FOTY candidate to Hiroyuki Takaya. With a career spent mostly in Shooto at a time when it was the only home for 145, it'll be interesting to see how Antonio reacts on the big stage. He's fought long enough, and if anyone deserves it, it's Carvalho.
Why should you care?
FW seldom lets us down in the action department, and both of these guys will be hungry. It's not gonna set the world on fire, but Carvalho once teetered on blue-chip status, and so it's worth your time.
More SB Nation/Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 142 after the jump...
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Nate Wilcox and His Essays on a Brief History of MMA and Brazil Are Also a Great Resource