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Aldo stops Mendes, defends featherweight belt at UFC 142 event

RIO DE JANEIRO — Jose Aldo stopped Chad Mendes with one devastating knee to the head with a second left in the first round Saturday night, defending his featherweight title in his homeland at UFC 142.

Aldo (21-1) spun and knocked the previously unbeaten Mendes senseless on his back with a perfectly timed right knee that caught Mendes (11-1) flush in the face. Aldo then landed two punches to Mendes' defenseless head before referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout before the bell.

Aldo then bolted from the octagon and sprinted into the HSBC Arena crowd, which raised him on its shoulders to cap the UFC's second event in Brazil in six months after a 13-year absence. Aldo has won 14 straight fights since November 2005, including three defenses of the UFC's first featherweight title belt.

"This is why I do this," Aldo said through a translator. "I'm so happy to be fighting at home."

The card featured several dramatic finishes by Brazilian fighters for the sellout crowd. Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort stopped Anthony Johnson with a first-round submission, and Rousimar Palhares beat Mike Massenzio with a first-round leglock.

Edson Barboza also produced a spectacular knockout, dropping Terry Etim unconscious onto his back with a spinning heel kick — a rare mixed martial arts move.