Irishman Conor McGregor has been one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts the past year with his fighting style and his brash words outside of the ring. On Saturday night in Las Vegas, he put his money where his mouth is by winning the interim UFC featherweight championship at UFC 189. He knocked out Chad Mendes at 4:57 of the second round to claim the title.

It was not an easy road for McGregor, as Mendes took him down twice in the fight and caused him to bleed from the head. But late in the second round, McGregor toppled Mendes over by the fence and threw punch after punch at him from a prone position. The referee stepped in and called off the fight, giving McGregor the knockout victory.

The win moves McGregor to 18-2 in his career and gives him the interim UFC featherweight title. He was originally scheduled to face current UFC titleholder Jose Aldo (25-1) until Aldo suffered an injury in training in his native Brazil. McGregor was sure to call out Aldo for the withdrawal, stating he had worse than Aldo’s bruised ribs in the buildup to the event in his postfight interview. It is likely that McGregor will finally face off against Aldo early next year, though some rumblings say a fight between the two of them can come as soon as December.

In the 170 lb. division, Robbie Lawler defended his UFC title after a tough bout with Rory MacDonald. Lawler knocked MacDonald out a minute into the fifth round of their fight. Both fighters took a toll during the fight, as they came out scarred, bruised, and bleeding. In the end, Lawler was able to successfully keep his title for the first time since winning it.

 

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