Welcome to WrestlingObserver.com's live coverage of the UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor weigh-ins from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada kicking off at 7 PM eastern time. The event airs on Saturday on pay-per-view at 10 PM eastern time. Preliminary card action kicks off on UFC Fight Pass at 7 PM eastern time before moving over to FOX Sports 1 at 8 PM eastern time. International Fight Week is upon us with the biggest UFC event of the year and first of two events this weekend.
The event will be headlined by two title fights. The Interim UFC Featherweight Championship is up for grabs in the main event as longtime contender Chad Mendes steps in for the injured champion, Jose Aldo, to take on Irish superstar Conor McGregor, who is looking to grab the gold and the fight against Aldo in front of a record-setting crowd for an event in Las Vegas. The co-main event features the UFC Welterweight Championship on the line as Robbie Lawler makes his first title defense against Rory MacDonald in a rematch from UFC 167 in November 2013, a bout won by Lawler.
MAIN CARD (PPV- 10 PM ET/7 PM PT):
Chad Mendes (144.5) vs. Conor McGregor (145)
Robbie Lawler (169.5) vs. Rory MacDonald (170)
Dennis Bermudez (146) vs. Jeremy Stephens (149.5)
Gunnar Nelson (169.5) vs. Brandon Thatch (170.5)
Brad Pickett (136) vs. Thomas Almeida (136 with sunglasses)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX SPORTS 1- 8 PM ET/5 PM PT):
Matt Brown (171) vs. Tim Means (171)
Mike Swick (170.5) vs. Alex Garcia (171)
Cathal Pendred (171) vs. John Howard (170.5)
Cody Garbrandt (136) vs. Henry Briones (136)
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS- 7 PM ET/4 PM PT):
Neil Seery (125.5) vs. Louis Smolka (126)
Yosdenis Cedeno (155) vs. Cody Pfister (156)
NOTES FROM BRYAN:
They had a legit turnaway crowd of 10,000. People were being turned away at least 20 minutes before the weigh-ins began. Dave Meltzer said he's never seen anything at a weigh-in like the atmosphere this evening.
Great moment where the biggest weigh-ins of all time for UFC began and nobody was there to weigh the guys in. Took him a good 60 seconds to be found.
Pfister looked 16 years old or so.
Seery, an Irishman, was super over. Rogan said it felt more like we were in Dublin than Las Vegas.
The weigh-in guy was loudly yelling at everyone to keep their arms down, no posing, nothing. I guess when you lift your arms, you weigh less.
The new video wall is pretty awesome.
Mike Swick is, in fact, back in the UFC.
Conor was super over since everyone in Ireland flew over for this show. Mendes was booed a lot.
Rogan pushed Tim Means vs. Matt Brown as potentially Fight of the Night. It's the FS1 main event.
Gunnar Nelson stood on the scale looking like he was on his way to a funeral. Then he made weight with plenty to spare.
Stephens also looked like he was heading to a funeral and then he missed weight by 3.5 pounds. OOPS.
Kind of amazing to think that Rory MacDonald, GSP's protege, is once again attempting to win the UFC Welterweight Title, and there was hardly a peep about it going into this show because it was all Conor all the time. I suppose after his last performance against Robbie it's hard to get that excited.
Rory did a promo and said he really felt like this would be his moment. Lawler said was the man, he was gonna knock his ass out, and thanks for coming.
Conor called him an "overblown midget" and said tomorrow he was going to raise gold for his country. Mendes was in quite the jovial mood. "THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME MAN, LOOK AT THIS SHIT, WHOO! IT'S TIME TO TAKE WHAT'S MINE, BABY!"
We will have two shows coming for subscribers in the next 12 hours -- a Wrestling Observer Radio live from our website convention party, and a Dave Meltzer Q&A from after our banquet. Sign up now, and then join us later for two huge shows, and then for UFC 189 tomorrow!