Posts Tagged ‘Rory MacDonald’

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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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http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P8YQ8Z4Yo4I

Date: December 8, 2012

Location: Seattle, Washington

Venue: KeyArena

Broadcast: FOX, FX, Facebook

MAIN (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz – for lightweight title 

Analysis: Benson Henderson utilized a complete array of weaponry on the way to a clear unanimous decision. Living up to his moniker ‘Smooth” immediately attacked the legs of Nate Diaz, at times even landing lead left hand jabs to the legs. Diaz never was able to gain any clear offense, with the exception of a few submission attempts that were never really close. Henderson landed over 130 significant strikes to only 20 for Diaz.

Winner: Benson Henderson via Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-45, 50-45)

  • Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

Analysis: Alexander Gustafsson came into the fight with a possible title shot looming, but with the immediate task of standing toe to toe with Mixed Martial Arts legend Maurico ‘Shogun’ Rua. ‘Shogun’ has made a living landing  his dynamite packed right hand. And tonight was no different, it landed often. Only this time the man on the receiving end continued to walk through them. Utilizing his clear reach and size advantage ‘The Mauler’ systematically took apart a mix martial arts legend with an arsenal of strikes rivaled only by Jon Jones. Landing at will with several powerful range-effective strikes, Gustafsson absorbed everything Rua could throw at him, and seems to be on his way to a title shot!

Winner: Gustafsson Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

  • Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn

Analysis: Rory MacDonald took steps to solidify his place in the welterweight division, in doing so he also vanquished a legend at least in the 170 lbs division. B.J. Penn promised a new improved aggressive B.J. Penn, and for about 1 minute it seemed he was making good on his promise. But then a liver-rattling kick, and a few elbows from MacDonald clearly erased that aggressiveness.  MacDonald shadowed the smaller Penn cutting off half of the cage. Landing at will, MacDonald nearly finished Penn with a barrage of strikes that had Penn failing a field sobriety test. Penn was able to get his feet back but was unable to finish the fight.

Winner:  Decision MacDonald Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

  • Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick

Analysis: Matt’The Immortal’ Brown started the main card off exactly where the preliminary card ended. With a devastating knockout. Brown was able to utilize his superior wrestling to keep former contender Mike Swick off balance for the entire first-round. The veteran Swick was able to escape a very tight submission attempt only to eat a few shots at the bell. As the second round began, Swick seemed more comfortable controlling the distance with his boxing. Ducking under a pawing right hand, Brown delivered a wild I.Q changing left hand that immediately put the lights out. Two more punches as Swick fell were the exclamation point as the referee stepped in.

 Winner: Matt Brown rd 2 TKO