UFC 189 was without a doubt one of the best nights in UFC history. Between Lawler and MacDonald’s blood bath and Mendes and McGregor’s all-out war, we were definitely treated to an intense night of fighting that kept all of us on the edge of our seats.
Let’s recap what went down in the two main events.
Lawler vs. MacDonald
In the co-main event, Lawler and MacDonald went head-to-head as Lawler put his Welterweight belt on the line and fought to defend his title. Lawler and MacDonald went all five rounds before a nose-crunching knockout on MacDonald that sent him crumbling to the ground and led to his defeat.
Official Result: Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald via TKO (punches) at 1:00 of round 5
Both fighters started round 1 with patience, yet wasted no time at all. MacDonald threw body kicks and straight punches; Lawler threw heavy looping punches aimed for the head. They both exploded with violent attacks and tried to take advantage early on. As the pace slowed, MacDonald went for the takedown but was stuffed by Lawler.
Things really got heated up in round 2 as Lawler busted MacDonald’s face up in the second half. MacDonald got a pretty good head kick in and continued with more kicks throughout the round. But Lawler was able to find his striking rhythm and left MacDonald’s face dripping blood.
Round 3 started off well for Lawler who looked comfortable as he nailed MacDonald with big shots and stuffed another MacDonald takedown attempt. While it appeared that things weren’t looking good for MacDonald, who was bleeding pretty badly from several cuts on his face and a broken nose, he suddenly drilled Lawler with a head kick. Although Lawler was able to somewhat block the kick, it definitely shook him up as MacDonald unleashed punches, kicks, knees and elbows that would’ve left Lawler in trouble if he hadn’t been saved by the bell.
MacDonald entered round 4 with intensity. He wasted no time and opened the round with a head kick and a series of strikes to Lawler’s face. The referee had to continuously check on Lawler, but somehow, Lawler was able to get up and fire back. The battle continued with both fighters trading shots, and Lawler once again stuffed another MacDonald takedown. Round 4 came to a close and both of their faces looked like a disaster.
There’s no doubt Lawler was ready to go in round 5. Within a minute, Lawler landed a hard straight left to MacDonald’s nose which left MacDonald stumbling backwards onto the canvas. MacDonald ate a few more punches before the forced stoppage that kept Lawler the Welterweight champion.
It doesn’t get much better than this!
Mendes vs. McGregor
The fight we’d all been waiting for didn’t disappoint as Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor battled it out for the UFC interim featherweight championship belt. Things looked pretty good for Mendes at the start, but McGregor fired back in round 2 and led Mendes to his defeat.
Official Result: Conor McGregor def. Chad Mendes via TKO (strikes) at 4:57 of round 2
McGregor started the fight quickly, but Mendes came out guns blazing and put on quite the performance in round 1. McGregor landed a hard spinning back kick, but Mendes returned with a takedown and a few punches.
With both men back on their feet, McGregor landed straight left punches and kicks, and Mendes burst forward with hard punches. Both exchanged a few blows, one of which cut McGregor’s eye. Towards the end of Round 1, Mendes scored another takedown and delivered a few elbows. He looked for the guillotine choke but failed to secure the submission. He ended the round on top and did damage to a bloodied McGregor.
McGregor looked much fresher in round 2 as he threw a few kicks, landed a spinning back kick, blocked a takedown and landed a few more straight punches. Mendes wasted little time as well and worked a few elbows and punches.
With less than a minute left, Mendes went for the guillotine choke but came up short. McGregor returned to his feet and opened with a series of punches. Then, as the round started to come to a close, he made good use of his strong left hand and nailed Mendes’ jaw. He dropped Mendes, unleashed a few punches, and ended the fight with three seconds remaining in the round.
Mendes made this war for McGregor, but McGregor proved he isn’t all talk as he was crowned the UFC interim featherweight champion.
It’s no surprise many are deeming UFC 189 as having one of the best fight cards in history. Watching Lawler and MacDonald spill blood and guts and absolutely hammer each other is what UFC is all about.
Although fans were eager to see Aldo and McGregor go at it, Mendes deserves the utmost respect for really handing it to McGregor. It was definitely an extraordinary night and we can’t wait to see where these fighters end up in the future.
Attend UFC® 192
At least one fight has been announced for UFC 192 thus far, and it’s one you don’t want to miss. Ryan Bader and Rashad Evans will go head to head in Houston on October 3. Plus, Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez are both pushing for a spot on the fight card! Cormier is looking for a title defense against No. 2 contender Alexander Gustafsson. We’ll have to wait and see what’s decided, but it should be an interesting night nonetheless!
Images courtesy of UFC