The original UFC 189 super-hyped main event between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor may have blown apart before the promotion even got to Las Vegas, but now that weigh-ins have taken place before a record crowd estimated at 11,500, the two title fights on the card are locked and ready to go.
With featherweight champion Aldo out of the picture, the UFC instituted an 145-pound interim title fight between McGregor and top contender Chad Mendes. The heat that Aldo and McGregor created doesn’t seem to be lacking between McGregor and Mendes, as the two have been going nose-to-nose ever since the fight was made.
Both men made weight, but the fire brewing between them only intensified during their staredown.
“That is an overblown midget,” said McGregor once things had settled down a bit. “Tomorrow night, I’m gonna cut him in half. I’m ready to go for Ireland, for my country.”
Mendes was much more succinct, saying, “It’s time to take what’s mine, baby.”
The co-main event was much less contentious with welterweight champion Robbie Lawler putting his belt on the line for the first time, as he rematches Rory MacDonald. Lawler won a split decision the first time they fought, so MacDonald is hoping to turn the tables on Saturday night, especially now that the tile is in the offing.
Neither fighter had an issue making weight.
“It’s an honor to be on a card with this many people attending. It’s like a dream come true,” said MacDonald after stepping off the scale. “I really feel like this is gonna be my moment.”
The champion disagreed: “I’m the man. I’m gonna go out there and show it. I’m gonna knock his ass out.”
The lone fighter to miss weight was Jeremy Stephens, who weighed in at 149.5 pounds for his 145-pound featherweight bout with Dennis Bermudez, who weighed 146 pounds. Bermudez fell within the allowable range for a non-title fight.
UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor Weigh-in Results
Main Card (on pay-per-view)
Chad Mendes (144.5) vs. Conor McGregor (145)
Robbie Lawler (169.5) vs. Rory MacDonald (170)
Dennis Bermudez (146) vs. Jeremy Stephens (149.5)
Gunnar Nelson (169.5) vs. Brandon Thatch (170.5)
Brad Pickett (136) vs. Thomas Almeida (136)
Prelims (on FOX Sports 1)
Matt Brown (171) vs. Tim Means (171)
Mike Swick (170.5) vs. Alex Garcia (171)
John Howard (170.5) vs. Cathal Pendred (171)
Cody Garbrandt (136) vs. Henry Briones (136)
Prelims (on UFC Fight Pass)
Neil Seery (125.5) vs. Louis Smolka (126)
Yosdenis Cedeno (155) vs. Cody Pfister (156)