Photos by Michael Bacos
[dropcap]U[/dropcap]FC 189 may go down as one of the most memorable cards in MMA history. Every single fight ended in a spectacular finish and every single fighter on the card demonstrated the true warrior spirit.
If you liked blood and the test of human limits, UFC 189 was the card for you.
The main event featured Conor McGregor capturing the interim featherweight title by defeating Chad Mendes, who stepped in a few weeks’ notice and replaced injured champion Jose Aldo.
At first, Mendes was giving McGregor problems as the former Division I All-American wrestler exposed McGregor’s lack of grappling ability by taking him down several times in the fight. However, McGregor showed the resilience he’s been known for and eventually knocked out a gassed out Mendes in the second round.
“[Mendes] is a phenomenal athlete. But he’s singular in his approach. I knew he was tired and I was winning every exchange. I figured he was breaking bit by bit,” McGregor said after the fight.
The co-main event has earned itself Fight of the Year candidacy as Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald fought in an epic bloodbath. Lawler eventually came out victorious to retain the welterweight title.
Lawler controlled the first two rounds of the fight, even breaking MacDonald’s nose. However, MacDonald demonstrated his resiliency and mounted his own comeback in the next two rounds before succumbing to his injuries and collapsing in the fifth round to give Lawler the stoppage.
“I was definitely dinged in that flurry but I wasn’t going down. Nobody is taking this belt. I attacked that nose and I knew he couldn’t continue to take those shots. It was the culmination of a beat down and he finally went down. Rory is as tough as nails, but I’m the best in the world,” Lawler said.
The UFC comes to Chicago on July 25 with T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barao fighting once again for Dillashaw’s bantamweight title.
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