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UFC 189 took place Saturday July 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada and featured two of the most highly-anticipated title fights in recent memory.
In attendance on the night was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is also a fan of McGregor. The Terminator: Genisys star congratulated the “McGregornator” on an awe-inspiring performance on his Twitter account.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 12, 2015
Dublin’s own and new interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor had thousands of boisterous Irish fans behind him as he tangled with three-time title challenger Chad Mendes in the evening’s main event. “Notorious” answered the call in the first round by landing several nice body kicks to the abdomen of “Money,” but still showed he was susceptible to being taken down.
Things got worse for McGregor in the second frame as he was held on the mat by Mendes, eating several vicious elbows in the process. However, fortunes changed in the last 30 seconds with the 26-year-old champion getting back to his feet, landing a clean left hand to the jaw of the Team Alpha Male staple, ending the bout with just a few seconds to spare in the round.
After months of promoting a championship fight around the world with injured titleholderJose Aldo, then restarting a whole new marketing campaign with the replace Mendes, one would think McGregor is owed some well-deserved time off. Turns out the UFC has other plans.
The day after his title win, during The Ultimate Fighter 21 finale, president Dana White announced McGregor would coach opposite of Mendes’ teammate Urijah Faber on the latest season of TUF. However, they will not fight at the conclusion of the season.
Though he had himself a heck of a weekend, there were other notable bouts on the UFC 189 card, like a 170-pound title fight.
Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler defended his title successfully against former foe Rory MacDonald in a five-round bloodbath. “Ruthless” was slow on the draw to start, falling behind in rounds one, three and four. “Red King” executed his game plan to a tee, punishing the face of Lawler with stiff jabs and straight punches. He was also able to land a front body kick on the southpaw frequently.
Both men would not show up at the post-fighter presser and instead head to the hospital for treatment after sustaining brutal-looking injuries in their 20-plus minute war. Check out the carnage in these two photos
broken nose broken foot but ill be back pic.twitter.com/KAakEC0qTh
— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) July 12, 2015
UFC 189 was one of the most successful fight cards in the history of the promotion. White said he expects the pay-per-view to do more than one-million buys and it also racked up a U.S. record-setting $7.2 million gate.