Just over 16,000 people filled the MGM Grand Garden Arena this weekend to watch one of the most anticipated fights in recent memory at UFC 189. Conor McGregor had been slated to fight Jose Aldo up until two weeks ago when Aldo withdrew from the fight, blaming an unhealed rib injury. The UFC reacted quickly, and replaced Aldo with Chad Mendes, a 17-3, two time title challenger.
Although McGregor was the odds favorite to win the fight, Mendes presented more of a challenge than some experts had predicted, and many are saying that this was one of Conor McGregor’s most hard won battles in the Octagon. Mendes scored four takedowns and controlled McGregor on the mat, but McGregor was able to regain his footing and score a TKO with just seconds left in the second round.
It was a huge spectacle, breaking pay-per-view records, which at $7.2 million set a new UFC record for live gate revenue in the US. Conor McGregor has become the face of the UFC recently, due to his incredible fighting style, his chirpy attitude towards opponents and the press, and his savviness with the media. We even created a collection of the best Conor McGregor quotes, which shows how confident the 26-year-old fighter truly is.
McGregor has had his critics, and addressed their doubts in an interview, saying that he’s “been hearing all the time that I’ve been protected to this point and gifted a title shot, so, when my title shot went running and I was given a shot at what I was supposedly being protected from, I was going to prove that I’m a true fighter.”
Here’s the full video of Conor McGregor’s and Chad Mendes’ interviews in the Octagon immediately following the fight:
UFC president Dana White said in a press conference that the card for UFC 189 was one of the best in the company’s history, saying that it “was trending bigger than anything we’ve ever done” and that it was “a massive event and everybody delivered.”
In this video, Dana White talks about how he felt that UFC 189 was the best yet, and touches on the future fight between McGregor and Aldo:
Here’s the full video coverage of the press conference after the fight:
There were some UFC firsts that occurred during UFC 189, including live performances for walk-out music. Fans were blown away when none other than Irish singer Sinead O’Connor sang “The Foggy Dew” as Conor McGregor made his entrance towards the cage. Check out this fan video of the performance: