This weekend at UFC 189 we are going to see one of the most stacked UFC cards of all time. We will see Conor McGregor square off against Chad Mendes for the interim UFC featherweight championship after Jose Aldo pulled out of the fight due to a rib injury. The second title fight on the card will pit Rory MacDonald against Robbie Lawler for the UFC welterweight crown, MacDonald will try to live up to the hype he has had behind him since moving his training camp to Tri Star Gym in Montreal where he trains with Georges St. Pierre many years ago.

Just looking at these two fights, many would say this is a great card, but looking further down the card, we also have Gunnar Nelson vs. Brandon Thatch, Matt Brown vs. Tim Means and Mike Swick vs. Alex Garcia.

This card has a lot to live up to, but I am sure all of the fighters will get a pep talk from Dana White before hand telling them to leave it all on the line in the Octagon in front of what could be the biggest PPV crowd of all time for the UFC.

Fight of the Night Bonus

When I am picking a Fight of the Night Bonus winnerm I am looking at the fighters’ styles and track records, so when I say that Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawler will take home this bonus, you know I have put some thought into this pick. With their last fight going to a razor thin split decision with Lawler coming out on top, MacDonald has said he is more focused and a better fighter since their last meeting. With Lawler having the threat of a KO every time he throws, a punch MacDonald will have to stay focused and keep him at distance with his kicks or take him to the ground and work over Lawler with ground and pound.

Being a fan of both Lawler and MacDonald, it has been hard for me to pick a winner and I have gone with the cliché of saying the true winners will be the fans. With a gun to my head though, I believe with the added pressure of his first title fight MacDonald rises to the occasion and wins in a five round war against Lawler setting up MacDonald vs. Lawler 3 in 2016.

Performance of the Night Bonuses

My first selection for a Performance of the Night Bonus comes from the prelims and it is Matt Brown vs. Tim Means. Brown and Means are similar types of fighters, they have advanced striking skills and they choose to use them the vast majority of the time. With Means being willing to stand and trade with Brown, I see Brown working at a ferocious pace mixing in punches, kicks, elbows and knees and hurting Means from the first exchange of the fight. I see Brown winning this by KO/TKO in the end of the first round or the beginning of the second round.

My second selection for a Performance of the Night Bonus is Conor McGregor over Chad Mendes to claim the interim UFC featherweight championship. I have a lot of respect for both of these fighters, McGregor for taking a fight with a different opponent two weeks before the fight date and Mendes for stepping up and taking on a top contender with only a couple weeks notice. I believe that the biggest deciding factor in this fight will be McGregor’s output and pace in the striking game coupled with his eight inch reach advantage. McGregor has shown in his brief time in the Octagon a very effective striking game, making his opponents go backwards, which allows him to see the takedowns coming. I see McGregor winning in the late second round or the early third round by KO/TKO after a dominant and overwhelming striking performance. This will setup McGregor vs Aldo for a featherweight championship unification fight in a stadium in Ireland.

About The Author

Scott Bond
Staff Writer

Scott is a Sports Administration graduate from Laurentian University. He has been a fan of MMA for over 15 years following closely the impact it has had on Canada. The business side of MMA is Scott’s true passion, be it the economics of the sport or the worldwide acceptance it has received and increased revenues that have followed.