Chad Mendes took McGregor to the mat a couple of times in the opening round, and opened a cut up on the latter with elbows and punches. McGregor was able to land several telling blows as well, but things appeared to be heading in Mendes’ direction.
In round two, Mendes took McGregor down once again, and kept the brash fighter there for most of the round. After escaping a Mendes choke attempt, however, McGregor jumped to his feet and blasted the wrestler with several hard punches. Mendes crumpled to the mat and referee Herb Dean stopped the fight.
After the win, McGregor repeated that in his opinion, champion Jose Aldo ran from the bout. He also claimed that he had more serious injuries than the latter’s “bruised” ribs heading into tonight’s card.
McGregor and Mendes also shared a moment following the fight, and the latter congratulated “Notorious” for his performance.
In the co-main event, Robbie Lawler extended his reign as welterweight champ, in what was an instant classic versus Rory MacDonald.
Lawler bloodied and bruised MacDonald during the fight’s opening rounds, but ran into trouble in round three, after absorbing the brunt of a head kick. MacDonald came out firing in round four in search of a finish, but the champ weathered the storm and returned fire.
Then in round five, Lawler put MacDonald down with a thumping left hand, and the thrilling fight was halted.
Here are the results from UFC 189, which went down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Conor McGregor def. Chad Mendes via TKO (punches) R2, 4:57
Robbie Lawler def. Rory MacDonald via TKO (punches) R5, 1:00
Jeremy Stephens def. Dennis Bermudez via TKO (flying knee and punches) R3, 0:32
Gunnar Nelson def. Brandon Thatch via submission (rear-naked-choke) R1, 2:54
Thomas Almeida def. Brad Pickett via KO (flying knee) R2, 0:29
Matt Brown def. Tim Means via submission (guillotine choke) R1, 4:44
Alex Garcia def. Mike Swick via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
John Howard def. Cathal Pendred via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Cody Garbrandt def. Henry Briones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Louis Smolka def. Neil Seery via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Cody Pfister def. Yosdenis Cedeno via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)