Could UFC 189 Be The Event That Reignites The Entire Sport?

Posted: July 18, 2015 in Combat Sports, UFC
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By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Folklore has to start somewhere. Legends are born of actuality, rarely do they exist without some sort of merit based on reality. UFC 189 may still only be an infant as far as timeline is concerned,  but it ages, much like a fine wine, it will become widely accepted as the greatest night in not only MMA history, but it may have been the single greatest evening in combat sports history.

For 21 minutes the world was treated to a fight that will forever serve as the bench mark for excellence in mixed martial arts. UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and his vanquished foe Rory MacDonald engaged in a back and forth blood bath that had the entire arena on their feet the entire fight. Early on, the champion was in charge only to find himself virtually knocked out by the challenger late in the fourth round.

However in true champion form, Lawler emerged in the fifth and final round and quickly regained the momentum, cracking Macdonald’s severely damaged nose with a pinpoint straight left hand that had him instantly in survival mode. One more removed all of Macdonald’s motivation, as undoubtedly the pain in his shattered face began to over come his senses.

The fight, an instant classic came before a crowd that wasn’t even expecting, as the Irish flags can attest.

The UFC has long been building their Irish superstar, and it appeared to many that maybe they were making the mistake that many other promoters before them made. Simply put, many did not believe the hype. McGregor for all his bravado and bolstering was set to face a bulldozer in Chad Mendes, and at some point he was going to be tested.

Moments of uncertainty grew, and pundits became semi erect when Mendes grounded the striking assault of McGregor for the better part of the first and second rounds. A elbow inspired gash from a strategic Mendez elbow certainly reinforced those doubters. However McGregor then did what he does so well. He threaded the needle with a few pinpoint strikes, that exposed Mendez’s short camp, and quickly his gas tank empty. Repeated kicks to the body from McGregor increased the leak, and eventually the tank emptied and Mendes shut down.

The win for McGregor earned him the moniker as the UFC interim Champion in the featherweight division. A label he will be forced to wear until Jose Aldo is ready to compete in order to unify the titles.

These two fights may go down as the greatest one two punch in combat sports history. Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are the biggest fighters in the UFC not because of the MMA fans, but because they translate outside of the sport. Love them or hate them, people have an opinion about them and they want to see them.

UFC 189 was full of casual fans who don’t necessarily follow the sport. Many people there like Anthony Macauley were brought there by friends, with no real expectations but instead had eye opening experiences that could make them life long fans of a sport they only casually knew about. “I went out to Vegas with some buddies and wasn’t even planning on going to the fight.” Macauley said. “I’ve always loved boxing but never got into the UFC.” After finally deciding to attend, Macauley was blown away by the event “The intensity in that arena leading up to the main event was unbelievable… I picked a hell of a first UFC event to attend, Im hooked for sure!” Macauley said.

These experiences are what will grow our sport to the next level. UFC 189 may be the night Conor McGregor earned the crown he claimed so long ago, but it will be remembered as the night Rory and Robbie went to war, and the rest of the world couldn’t help but watch!

 

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