UFC 189 will be held on July 11, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will take place during the UFC’s annual International Fight Week.
The event was expected to be headlined by a UFC Featherweight Championship bout between current champion José Aldo and top contender Conor McGregor. On June 23, it was reported that Aldo suffered a rib fracture and could pull out of the bout in light of the injury.
A day later, the UFC received official medical confirmation from several doctors that Aldo did not suffer such injury. Following a review of the scans, it was determined that the champion suffered a bone bruise to his rib and cartilage injury during training. Aldo had expressed that he had every intention of fighting.
Despite that, the UFC announced a contingency plan that would have Chad Mendes face McGregor for the interim championship in the event that Aldo could not compete. On June 30, it was confirmed that Aldo indeed pulled out of the bout and that the interim championship bout would take place at this event.
UFC president Dana White said the reason for the interim title, in this case, had to do with Aldo’s history of pulling out of title fights, despite having defended it only 9 months earlier at UFC 179. The bout will remain the event headliner. On July 1, photographs of Aldo’s scans were released and indicated that he had indeed suffered a fractured rib.
Mendes’ (17-2 MMA) only two MMA loses have come to currently champion Jose Aldo. Losing via KO in the first bout at UFC 142, Mendes put on a better showing in their rematch at UFC 179 in October, 2014. Mendes would lose the fight via unanuimous decision but the bout earned ‘Fight of the Night’ & ‘Fight of the Year’ awards. In his last bout, ‘Money’ demolished former title contender Ricardo Lamas in 2:45 on the first round via TKO.
McGregor (17-2 MMA) has gone 5-0 in an impressive run since signing with the promotion. McGregor has also earned four post fight bonuses during this run. A ‘Knockout of the Night’ performance over Marcus Brimage in his debut has been followed up with three performance bonuses in a row. (TKO wins over Diego Brandao, Dustin Poirier and Dennis Siver)
The co-main event is expected to feature a UFC Welterweight Championship bout between current champion Robbie Lawler and top contender Rory MacDonald. Their first fight at UFC 167 ended in a split decision victory for Lawler.
Find the MMA Mad staff predictions for UFC 189 below along with the latest prediction results following UFC Fight Night 70 in Florida.
Round 21 Results
Dale Jordan – 161
Nicholas Rizner – 148
James Carroll – 132
Round 22 Results
Dale Jordan – 170
Nicholas Rizner – 162
James Carroll – 139