Welcome to WrestlingObserver.com's live coverage of UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event, headlined by an Interim UFC Featherweight Championship bout between Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor, airs on pay-per-view at 10 PM eastern time. Preliminary card action kicks off at 7 PM eastern time on UFC Fight Pass before moving over to FOX Sports 1 at 8 PM eastern time. We are looking for your thoughts on tonight's show, so send a thumbs up, a thumbs down or a thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst fight to firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com.
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS- 7 PM ET/4 PM PT):
LIGHTWEIGHTS: YOSDENIS CEDENO VS. CODY PFISTER
First round: Hard low and high kick by Cedeno. Cedeno with a low kick. Pfister landed some punches. Another hard low kick by Cedeno. Nice counter right by Cedeno but he couldn’t take him down. Scramble, but nobody got the edge and they were back to their feet. Body shot by Cedeno. Pfister landing some punches. Cedeno landing kicks. Low kick by Cedeno. Cedeno with cool kicks. Cedeno is killing Pfister’s left leg. Cedeno 10-9
Second round: Low kick by Cedeno and overhand right. Pfister missing punches. Pfister took him down. Pfister’s left leg was all red. Pfister has his back now. Cedeno reversed to the top. Fans are screaming to stand them up right away. The ref listened. Nothing was happenig at the time. Pfister with an ankle pick takedown. Pfister landed a few puches. Pfister got his back again. Now he’s on top throwing short punches. Knee by Pfister and another as Cedeno got up. Pfister’s round so 19-19 after two.
Third round: Pfister with a takedown. The ref stood them up quickly. Pfister with a second takedown. Pfister punching the body on the ground. Pfister has his back again. Cedeno out of trouble. Pfister took him down again. He’s just holding him down now. Cedeno revered tothe top and threw two punches. Pfister’s round so he should win 29-28.
Scores: All three had it 29-28 Pfister.
FLYWEIGHTS: NEIL SEERY VS. LOUIS SMOLKA
First round: Smolka poked him in the eye. Seery dropped him with two punches and is pounding on him. Smolka reversed to the top. Seery again working for a guillotine. Seery bleeding badly from the left eye. Smolka trying a guillotine. Smolka trying for other submissions. Smolka is in full mount. Smolka working for a sub. He gave it up and Smolka pounding on him from back position. 10-9 Smolka
Second round: Smolka working for a takedown. Smolka took him down with a bodylock. Fans chanting USA and Irish fans booing the chant. Seery tried an armbar from the bottom. Smolka has his back. Smolka working for a choke. Seery is in trouble this time. But he couldn’t lock it in. Smolka continues to work for a choke. Smolka’s round 20-18
Third round: Takedown by Smolka. Seery used an uma plata to get to his feet. Seery landed punches and Smolka back. Seery with a knee. Smolka with a fireman’s carry takedown. Seery went for a guillotine. The place is going insane but Smolka escaped. Smolka is in side control. Smolka going for a head and arm choke. Seery escaped but Smolka has his back and working for another choke. Smokla with atkedown. Seery back up and grabbed a guillotine and took hidown almost like a DDT. If you’re into all kinds of near submissions, this is the match for you. Smolka escaped and back to the top. Takedown by Smolka. Another takedown by Smolka and he’s working for another head and arm choke. Smolka 30-27
Scores: All have it 30-27 for Smolka.
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX SPORTS 1- 8 PM ET/5 PM PT):
BANTAMWEIGHTS: CODY GARBRANDT VS. HENRY BRIONES
First round: Garbrandt landed more and go a few takedowns to win the first round. Not too exciting. Garbrandt 10-9
Second round: Garbrandt with a high kick. Briones with a body kick. Body kick and punch by Garbrandt. Garbrandt dropped him with a right, landed hard punches on the ground but Briones back up. Left by Briones. Briones hurt him with a left and tried a jumping kick but missed. Briones bleeding from the nose. . Head kick by Garbrandt. Garbrandt went for the takedown but didn’t get it. Hard left by Briones. Left by Garbrandt. Another combo by Garbrandt. Briones landed a right. Gardbrant’s round 20-18.
Third round: Slow open to the round. Garbrandt swinging and landing. Jumping knee by Garbrandt. Left by Garbrandt. Briones moving forward. Takedown by Garbrandt with 1:00 left. Jumping knee by Garbrandt. Right by Briones and left by Garbrandt. Both trading hard punches Great slugfest at the end. Garbrandt 30-27.
Scores: All have it 30-27 for Garbrandt
WELTERWEIGHTS: CATHAL PENDRED VS. JOHN HOWARD
First round: Pendred got a main eventer reaction from the Irish contingent. Pendred has him against the fence and throwing knees. Knee by Pendred. Howard wth a left. They were trading punches until Pendred pushed him into the fence. Pendred 10-9. Really this was a 10-10 by all rights because nobody ever had an advantage.
Second round: Howard landed an off balance left. The crowd is making a lot of noise. Howard landing a number of punches. Now the audience is turning on the fight. Actually they’re turning on the USA chant. Howard with more close range punches. Pedred throwing knees from close range. Howard with more short range punches. Howard landed a good flurry late. Howard’s round so 19-19 after two.
Third round: They tied up. Pendred landed some knees. Howard took him down and Pendred holding a guillotine. Howard escaped and on top. Pendred up. Howard with a right. Howard landed punches right at the end and probably stole the round. 29-28 Howard, but all three rounds were close.
Scores: 29-28 Howard 29-28 Pendred 29-28 Howard
WELTERWEIGHTS: MIKE SWICK VS. ALEX GARCIA
First round: Garcia took him down. Swick back up. Hard low kick by Swick. Garcia landed a nice right. Crowd dead here. Garcia 10-9.
Second round: Takedown by Garcia. Swick up. Garcia landed. Garcia throwing and landing some. Fans turning on the right. They were patient about it. Garcia took Swick down again. Garcia’s round 20-18.
Third round: Garcia with a right. Garcia took him down with a slam even though Swick momentarily grabbed the cage. Garcia in full mount. He tried an armbar at the finish but didn’t come close. But it was his round and should be an easy 30-27 score for Garcia.
Scores: 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 Garcia
WELTERWEIGHTS: MATT BROWN VS. TIM MEANS
First round: Means landed two lefts and another left. Brown tried a takedown but didn’t get it. Right by Brown. Eye poke by Brown. Brown dropped him with a right but Means back up. Brown with a left. Brown pushed him into the fence. Brown landed a few punches. Head kick by Brown. Brown landing more punches. Means went for a takedown and got stuffed. Brown took him down. Hard knee to the back by Brown. Means back up. Hard right by Brown. Means with punches and a high kick. Means nailed him with a left. Brown bleeding. Brown with two elbows. Means went for a takedown and Brown got the submission with a guillotine. Best action of the night.
MAIN CARD (PPV- 10 PM ET/7 PM PT):
BANTAMWEIGHTS: BRAD PICKETT VS. THOMAS ALMEIDA
First round: Pickett landed some shots. Fans are singing. Nice body shot by Almeida but Pickett decked him on the counter. Pickett took him down. Pickett hurt him wiht a knee. Almeida tried an ankle lock. Pickett with a hard right. Almeida bleeding from the nose. This would be a huge upset (9-to1) if Pickett wins. Pickett landing some more. Almeida dropped Pickett and Pickett scrambled for a takedown. Almeida back up. Crowd going crazy here. Spinning elbow by Almeida. Pickett landed the left. Fans were chanting “Where the fuck is Aldo” really loud. Almeida has several cuts all over his face Almeida landed some shots as the round ended. Standing ovation, huge reaction as the round ended. Pickett 10-9.
Second round: Pickett short on a jumping knee. Almeida knocked him cold with a flying left knee to the face. That one is getting him $50,000 because it was a sick knockout.
WELTERWEIGHTS: GUNNAR NELSON VS. BRANDON THATCH
First round: Nelson landed several shots. Knees back and forth from close range. Low kick by Thatch. Nelson tried a takedown but was thrown off. Nelson clocked him with a left and right combination, the left was about to knock him down and the right caught him on the way down, got the mount and Thatch is in a world of trouble on the ground with this guy. Nelson in side control. Nelson back to full mount. He’s got 2:50 left. The crowd is singing as Nelson has his back. Nelson punching from that position. Nelson got the choke and Thatch had to tap out. 2:54
FEATHERWEIGHTS: DENNIS BERMUDEZ VS. JEREMY STEPHENS
First round: Stephens landed an uppercut and some follow ups that stumbled Bermudez. Bermudez back with a front kick. Bermudez landing punches Bermudez with a takedown. Blood is just streaming out of Stephens’ forehead like a faucet. Stephens escaped and got Bermudez’s back. Bermudez with a low kick and front kick. Both trading punches. Stephens bad cut is over the right eye. Stephens is a 7 on the Muta scale. Bermudez 10-9.
Second round: Trading punches and Stephens dropped him. Stephens with a knee and Bermudez back up. Stephens swinging hard. Bermduez landed a left to the jaw. Stephens took him off his feet with a low kick. Bermudez landed a wild right. Stephens dropped him with a left. Bermudez dropped him with a front kick. Bermudez in with puches. Left and knee by Stephens. Bermudez dropped him with a right but Stephens back up. This is the fight of the night. Knee by Stephens. They are just swinging away. Fantastic round. Everyone is standing. Hard round to score. Stephens 19-19
Third round: They showed Mike Tyson and the place went bananas. Traded kicks. Jumping right knee to the jaw by Stephens knocked him out. This was a match of the year caliber fight, great finish and can’t ask for a move dynamc finish.
They just did a new graphic before the two main events. It was a really cool deal. A lot of changes tonight, new style video and a remix of the UFC music. There are a few Canadian flags for MacDonald but maybe ten in all. Nothing like GSP, but MacDonald did get a real big reaction.
UFC WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: ROBBIE LAWLER(C) VS. RORY MACDONALD
First round: MacDonald with front kicks and a punch. USA chant. Lawler with a left and right. Body kick by MacDonald. Rory chant. Right by Rory. Another right by Rory. Body kick by MacDonakd. Head kick by Rory. Right by Rory. Body kick by Rory and right. Lawler threw but didn’t land. Slow round. Crowd starting to boo. Rory went for a takedown. Lawler sprawled and threw a knee. Body kick by Rory. Lawler threw a right that barely grazed him. Left by Lawler. MacDonald 10-9. Crowd booing the round.
Second round: Crowd booed Johny Hendricks on the screen. Both trading. No advantage. Body kick by Rory. Body shot by Rory. Good head kick by Rory. Best blow of the fight so far. Lawler landed a left which was his best blow. Right by Rory. Left and right by Lawler and Rory is bleeding Left and right by Lawler. Rory back. Rory with a right and left. Left by Lawler. This is getting good now. Rory’s face is a crimson mask. Both landing big shots. Lawler’s round 19-19. Crowd giving hem a big hand now.
Third round: Rory kick blocked by Lawler. USA chant. Both throwing, Lawler got the best shot Both trading again. Body kick by Lawler. Blood coming out of Rory’s mouth. He went for a takedown, almost had it but Lawler blocked and throwing punches and Lawler landed a punch as he got up. Head kick by Rory and body kick. Another head kick by Rory. Lawler short on his punches. Right by Rory. Another head kick by Rory. Lawler is hurt. Both throwing. Another head kick by Rory. Flying knee by Rory. Rory taking him apart with 15 seconds left. Uppercut by Rory. Rory’s round. The bell may have saved Lawler 29-28 Rory.
Fourth round: Crowd going nuts now. Head kick and punches by Rory. Body kick. Head kicks and elbows by Rory. More head kicks and elbows by Rory. Slowing down now. Another head kick by Rory. These blows were partially blocked. Right by Lawler. Body kick by Lawler and he threw a right. Lawler bleeding from the mouth. Head kick. Traded big punches. Rory with two punches, Rory went for a takedown, couldn’t get it and Lawler blasted him. Both guys are covered in blood now. Rory with a right. Blood is flying everywhere. This is a killer fight for drama at this point. Head kick by Rory. Rory’s round 39-37.
Fifth round: Lawler landed a few shots. Trading punches. Rory with a head kick and body kick. Lalwer hurt him with a punch. Lawler landed a left to the nose and Rory couldn’t see and he went down. Lawler landed punches on the ground and it was stopped. Fantastic fight. Match of the year candidate. 1:00
Lawler did an interview, it wasn’t smooth but he showed a ton of passion and heart and the place went nuts for him. An incredible performance by Lawler coming back from near defeat in the third.
INTERIM UFC FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: CHAD MENDES VS. CONOR MCGREGOR
First round: Jeez, I’m nervous for these guys that’s how much pressure there is in this place. This is one of the biggest pops in UFC history. Mendes booed out of the place. The Americas can’t compete with the Irish tonight. There is intensity in the crowd like few fights in history. McGregor threw a knee and was taken down. Mendes blasted him but couldn’t get the second takedown. Mendes mssed on a wild punch. Spin kick to the body by Conor. Left by Conor. Right by Chad. Left by Conor. Spin kick by Conor. Traded punches. Head kick by Conor. Head kick by Conor. Head kick by Mendes and a right and a left. Conor took his best shots. Spin kick by Conor but Mendes back with punches. Takedown by Mendes. Hard punches by Mendes and Conor is bleeding. Conor up. Mendes with a right. Body kick by Conor. Body shot by Conor. Hard left by Conor and a right by Chad. Uppercut by Chad. Body kick by Conor and a right. Another takedown by Chad. .He moved to side control as the round ended. Mendes 10-9
Second round; Loud Conor chant. They traded punches. Body kick by Conor. Takedown by Mendes. Mendes on top. Hard elbow by Chad. Punch by Chad. Crowd still going crazy for Conor. Another elbow. Another elbow. Crowd starting to boo as Conor is being held down. . Conor throwing hard elbows from the bottom. Another punch by Chad. Another punch by Chad. More punches by Chad. Hard punches by Chad. Crowd booing at this point because Conor isn’t getting up. Chad went for a guillotine and Conor scrambled and got to his feet. Conor up and landing punches and kicks. Chad fired back with hard shots but Conor took all of them. Conor started hurting Mendes with punches and Mendes is in trouble. A left put Mendes down and and finished him right before the end of the round it was over. 4:57
The scene was amazing. In more ways than one this was a landmark night in UFC history. It was an incredible last six fights and the production of the show was at a level they’ve never approached before. And they may have the biggest star in their history and you can no longer argue that he’s not the real deal.