After The Crossfire – UPDATED – UFC 189: Mendes vs McGregor
Conor McGregor came through the Foggy Dew.
The Irishman earned a spectacular first round TKO stoppage of Chad Mendes in the main event of UFC 189.
McGregor now becomes the interim UFC featherweight champion, and first in line to unify the belt with injured undisputed champion Jose Aldo.
Mendes started off fast, cranking out at least four takedowns and landing serious damage that bloodied McGregor’s right eye. But McGregor somehow absorbed all of it and inflicted some heavy damage on the feet of his own.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Fight-of-the-Night went to Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald, while Thomas Almedia and McGregor secured performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
MMA Crossfire Expert Kenai Andrews checks in:
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS
YOSDENIS CEDENO VS CODY PFISTER
ANDREWS PREDICTION: YODENIS CEDENO VIA TKO
WINNER: CODY PFISTER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28,29-28,29-28)
Andrews: Pfister survivied a blistering first round, then he wore down Cedeno with his grappling. With an improved gas tank, Cedeno even more of a load.
NEIL SEERY VS LOUIS SMOLKA
ANDREWS PREDICTION: NEIL SEERY VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: LOUIS SMOLKA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Andrews: Smolka simply outworked Seery, controlling him on the ground and aggressively going for chokes. Seery needed to keep the fight on the feet, where he was doing well. This is more about Smolka winning than Seery losing.
TSN 5 PRELIMS
CODY GARBRANDT VS HENRY BRIONES
ANDREWS PREDICTION: HENRY BRIONES VIA TKO
WINNER: CODY GARBRANDT VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: I thought Briones would be more aggressive from the beginning, but he tried to counter Cody and unfortunately for him, he fell behind on points. By the third round, his offence was too little too late. Good win for No Love.
CATHAL PENDRED VS JOHN HOWARD
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CATHAL PENDRED VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: JOHN HOWARD VIA SPLIT-DECISION (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Andrews: This was a boring fight, straight up. All Pendred had to do was stay busy and take the starch out of Howard’s tank, but Howard landed too many power shots. I still think Pendred should have won, but again, no one really won this fight.
MIKE SWICK VS ALEX GARCIA
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX GARCIA VIA TKO
WINNER: ALEX GARCIA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Andrews: Swick was unable to mount any offence from the outside, despite having the reach advantage. Garcia used some power shots, and power takedowns to pile up the points. Not the most impressive fight, bit a good win for Garcia.
#5 MATT BROWN VS TIM MEANS
ANDREWS PREDICTION: MATT BORN VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION R1 4:44
WINNER: MATT BROWN VIA SUBMISSION
Andrews: Means looked like he was on his way to giving Brown all he could handle, but got dazed by a big elbow and then with the guillotine. Great win for Brown, but I think Means has a future in the UFC.
#15 BRAD PICKETT VS #14 THOMAS ALMEDIDA
ANDREWS PREDICTION: THOMAS ALMEIDA VIA TKO
WINNER: THOMAS ALMEDIA VIA TKO R2 0:29
Andrews: Pickett had a fantastic first round, using his boxing to plant Almeida on his butt twice. But Almedia came back in the second to land a picture-perfect knee that forced the ref to stop the bout. Excellent performances by both fighters.
#15 GUNNAR NELSON VS BRANDON THATCH
ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRANDON THATCH VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: GUNNAR NELSON VIA SUBMISSION R1 2:54
Andrews: Gunnar returned to form, cracking Thatch with an impressive 1-2 combo that dropped the Muay Thai challenger, and then got the tap. Beautiful footwork finish by Gunni.
#8 DENNIS BERMUDEZ VS #11 JEREMY STEPHENS
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DENNIS BERMUDEZ VIA SPLIT-DECISION
WINNER: JEREMY STEPHENS R3 0:32
Andrews: Another barnburner of a fight with Stephens getting the last knockdown in the third round via a brilliant flying knee. Excellent anticipation of the takedown by Stephens to land the knee.
WELTERWEIGHT TITLE DEFENCE
(C) ROBBIE LAWLER VS #2 RORY MACDONALD
ANDREWS PREDICTION: RORY MACDONALD VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: ROBBIE LAWLER VIA TKO R5 1:00
Andrews: Unbelievable comeback by Lawler after being close to finished in the fourth round. MacDonald put in a great effort, but it was not good enough.
INTERIM FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE MAIN EVENT
#1 CHAD MENDES VS #3 CONOR MCGREGOR
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CONOR MCGREGOR VIA TKO
WINNER: CONOR MCGREGOR VIA TKO R2 4:57
Andrews: An awesome fight. Mendes really took it to McGregor early, taking Conor down at least 4 times and landing some massive damage. Still, McGregor took all of it and came back to land some serious kicks and strikes that combined with a weary Mendes, got the stoppage with seconds left. An excellent performance by both fighters.