There will be a bit more gold in Ireland after all. Once McGregor escaped the mat war with Mendes, he got up.
The trash-talking Irishman sent thousands of his countrymen home deliriously happy by scoring an improbable knockout victory over Chad Mendes after enduring a ton of abuse Saturday at the MGM Grand in their bout for the interim featherweight title in the main event of UFC 189. McGregor lands with a straight left, but Mendes lands a double leg takedown.
Mendes, a two-time All-American wrestler in college, repeatedly had put the brash Irishman flat on his back with vicious takedowns. Whoever reigns supreme in the McGregor versus Mendes collision will likely advance to fight Jose Aldo. But after Saturday’s performance, there’s absolutely no doubt that a fight between Aldo and McGregor would shatter the promotion’s previous highs in both attendance and pay-per-view purchases. “It didn’t matter if it was Jose or Chad – this was my night”. If he wants to come back, he can come back.
It is assumed that the victor of the fight will eventually fight Jose Aldo when he returns from his rib injury in a “champion vs. champion” title unification match, similar to the main event at UFC 188 when Cain Velasquez fought Fabrício Werdum to unify their UFC heavyweight championships. In the final round, the 33-year-old fighter dug deep and finished off MacDonald to retain his title in an absolute war, which won “Fight of the Night.”
“I think Chad Mendes easily could be as big a star as Conor McGregor”.
“So when my title shot went running and they gave me the challenge I was supposed to be protected from I knew I was going to prove to people I was a true fighter”.
MacDonald shifted the momentum in a blink of an eye in the third canto as he wrapped a head kick around his foe’s defenses.
The 5-foot-11 Canadian crumbled to his back in visible distress, and Lawler polished the scene with follow-up punches to force referee John McCarthy to halt the contest.
After the initial domination, the young MacDonald was done in with a hard punch on the nose by the experienced Lawler.
After the fight, the No. 5 ranked Brown, who earlier in the week said the unranked Means didn’t belong in the octagon with him, showed plenty of love in an interview with UFC’s Joe Rogan. They are fighting in the Welterweight Division.
Conor McGregor (18-2) is now on an 14-fight winning streak. Lawler credits his sparring at American Top Team with allowing him to prepare well for any opponent – it remains to be seen if that will be enough against the versatile MacDonald.
“Everybody is betting Lawler”, Rood said. “Nobody is taking this belt”. “Conor was able to stand there in front of me and tee off. That was the mistake I made”. It was the culmination of a beat down and he finally went down.
Prior to last night’s card, Lawler already fought in two of the greatest Welterweight title fights of all time, splitting a pair of decisions with Johnny Hendricks at UFC 171 and UFC 181.
That the end came like it did was more stunning – replays on the multiple big screens around the arena drew gasps of awe – because of the way Pickett dominated the first round.