On July 11, 2015, MMA fans packed into Hooters, Buffalo Wild Wings, or their local bars and pubs to finally find out who is the second-best in UFC’s featherweight division at UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor. With Jose Aldo out with a rib injury (though Dana White states that was not the reason why Aldo was out), number one contender Conor McGregor was set to take on Chad Mendes for an interim UFC featherweight championship. Eventually, these two titans in the featherweight division went face-to-face, and with three seconds prior to the end of the second round, McGregor laid out Mendes with a one-two combination securing a TKO victory.
The above fight was the highlight of the night given the fact it was promoted as the primary main event. However, the entire main card was actually phenomenal. Because of this fact, UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor is now in the midst of debate. Did the UFC pay-per-view have the best main card of all time.
The question in accordance to the pay-per-view’s card was first asked in a report by Mercury News. In it, they summarize each fight starting with the final preliminary before the main card. From that, two points were made obvious on why the main card was considered the best of all time. The first is that every fight starting with Matt Brown vs. Tim Means was a finish. Going down the line, Matt Brown finished Tim Means with a choke. Thomas Almeida finished Brad Pickett with a flying knee. Gunnar Nelson finished Brandon Thatch also with a choke. Jeremy Stephens finished Dennis Bermudez with another flying knee. And both Robbie Lawler and Conor McGregor finished their respective opponents, Rory MacDonald and Chad Mendes, with punches.
As for the second point, every fight was generally not boring. True there were parts that were unpopular with viewers (such as the floor work wrestling), but overall, each match had a lot of action. Fisticuffs were thrown around vigorously and a lot of blood was spilled which brought 90s nostalgia to seasoned MMA fans who remembered UFC fight eliminator-style set-ups lasting 30-minutes long.
The MMA community also recognized just how great UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor was. Washington Post actually collected a plethora of tweets from the MMA community, which included UFC fighters such as the current UFC heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier.
Best UFC ever.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) July 12, 2015
Just to recap, UFC 189 had: –McGregor’s coronation –One of the greatest fights in UFC history –Two other FOTY candidates –KO of the year
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) July 12, 2015
UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor deserves the praise it has earned. It is a UFC premier event that delivered with fighters who over-delivered (especially Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald in which both had to go to the hospital after their fight). Finally, the sportsmanship was amazing. Seeing Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor hug it out after McGregor won the championship was both classy and professional.
[Image via UFC Official Facebook Page]