After beating Eddie Alvarez, Conor McGregor won the Lightweight title to go with his Featherweight title. Before the fight, Dana White said that if he won the fight, he would have to give up one of the belts. Do you think he should give up a belt or should he be allowed to defend both? Vote below:
The co-main event saw Chris Weidman (C) take on Luke Rockhold (#1) for the Middleweight title. The first round was a close one, in which Weidman started strong with some grappling, but Rockhold came back into the round towards the end. However, Weidman seemed to have done enough to claim the round. Round 2 was a clearer round, with Rockhold finding success with his strikes. Round 3 looked to be a reversal, as Weidman found success with strikes, particularly body kicks. The round changed when Weidman attempted a wheel kick that was slow and that he seemed unsure of and Rockhold took full advantage, taking Weidman down, establishing a dominant position and unleashing a minute of ground and pound that was surprisingly not stopped by referee Herb Dean. The fourth round proved to be the final one, with Rockhold taking Weidman down and unleashing more ground and pound, forcing Dean to step in and give the victory (and title) to Rockhold.
The main event was the long awaited Featherweight title match between Jose Aldo (C) and Conor McGregor (IC). The match had originally been scheduled for July, but Aldo pulled out with a rib injury, resulting in McGregor fighting Chad Mendes and becoming the interim champion with victory. The match proved to be a record breaker as McGregor claimed victory in 13 seconds with a left hand that knocked out Aldo. Referee John McCarthy was rushing over to call the fight off as McGregor landed a couple of hammer fists on the prone Aldo.
It will be interesting to see what happens next; McGregor said that he would step up to lightweight after winning the featherweight title and beat the winner of Rafael dos Anjos and Donald Cerrone, who fight next week. There have already been words exchanged between McGregor and Cerrone, so it is likely that if that happens, it would be another huge event for the UFC. Aldo, in his post-match interview, wanted a rematch, but McGregor has announced that he wants his first title defence to be in Ireland against Frankie Edgar.
The co-main event saw Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler take on #2 Rory MacDonald. The fight started in a cautious manner, with both fighters working their way into it; I think Lawler just shaded the round with slightly better strikes. Round 2 was quite similar, but Lawler was a clearer winner of the round as some clean lefts opened up MacDonald. Lawler continued his good work in the third, but MacDonald had a fantastic closing minute and wobbled Lawler with some head kicks and could possibly have ended the fight if the round had gone on for an extra 30 seconds; I gave the round to MacDonald. The fourth round remained close, but MacDonald started well and his head kicks remained a constant threat and probably won the round. Going into the final round, I had it level at 2 rounds apiece, so it was a crucial final round, with the winner of the round probably being declared the winner via the judges. However, the fight did not reach the judges as a series of punches from Lawler to MacDonald’s already broken nose put him down and saw Lawler retain the title after an excellent, but brutal, fight.
The main event saw Chad Mendes (#1) fight Conor McGregor (#3) for the interim Featherweight title after the Champion, Jose Aldo, pulled out of his scheduled fight with McGregor. The first round was quite close, with McGregor landing strikes and taunting Mendes, but Mendes took McGregor down in the last minute and might just have shaded the round as a result. Mendes took McGregor down early in the second round and stayed there for most of the round. When it returned to standing, McGregor put Mendes down with a series of punches and became the Interim Featherweight Champion.
UFC 189 was a strong card with 5 excellent fights, none of which required a decision from the judges. In the Welterweight division, Lawler V Hendricks 3 seems likely, although after his fight with MacDonald, there is likely to be strong demand for Lawler V MacDonald 3. There had been a lot of build-up to Aldo V McGregor and with McGregor now the interim champion and Aldo the champion, that fight will happen and surely be even bigger than it was ahead of UFC 189.
The co-main event was in the Featherweight division and saw Max Holloway (#13) take on Cole Miller. The fight went the distance, with all the judges giving the fight to Holloway. The fight was primarily a striking battle, but when it did go towards the mat, Miller showed some innovative attempts at submission. As the fight progressed, Holloway took more and more control of the fight, but never looked like finishing it, despite landing some big shots pretty clean. The decision was the right one, although 30-27 from one judge seemed slightly harsh.
The main event saw Benson Henderson (#5, LW) step up to Welterweight to take on Brandon Thatch. After a tough fight, Henderson gained the victory in Round 4 via submission. The fight began at a fast pace, with Henderson unsurprisingly looking to be the quicker of the two. Thatch took control in the second round with some very strong striking, but Henderson seemed to slip most of the really big shots. Henderson was able to take Thatch down in Round 3, gain his back and threaten with submissions; this was repeated in Round 4, with some added ground and pound, helping him to set up the submission via rear naked choke.