This week marks seven years since Conor McGregor captured the interim featherweight UFC title at UFC 189 however his win was upstaged by a rematch between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald.
The welterweight duo first fought in 2013, throughout their days as contenders within the division being dominated by arguably the best fighter ever – Georges St Pierre aka GSP.
Lawler edged out MacDonald over three rounds after they first fought in 2013Getty
‘Ruthless’ emerged victorious on that event by break up choice and went on to win the title on the expense of Johny Hendricks in 2014.
After shedding to Lawler, MacDonald picked up three consecutive wins over Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine to cement his standing because the primary contender at welterweight.
And on July 11, 2015, Lawler and MacDonald clashed as soon as once more, this time at UFC 189 in a title struggle for the ages that’s nonetheless considered by MMA followers to be the best of all time.
The struggle began slowly however burst into life within the second stanza when a Lawler left-hand hit and harm MacDonald who seemed to be in bother with simply 90 seconds left within the spherical.
MacDonald and Lawler produced one of many biggest battles in UFC historical past at UFC 189Getty The canvas was painted claret with the blood of each Lawler and MacDonald
Simply when it appeared as if MacDonald is likely to be on the point of defeat he started to seek out success within the third body and even managed to wobble the champion with a head kick.
He then smelled blood and went in for the end, however Lawler was in a position to survive the flurry of elbows and knees that got here at him whereas he stood in opposition to the fence.
By the fourth spherical, each males have been lined in blood and simply combating on intuition earlier than the spherical ended they usually stood throughout from one another in one of many coldest moments in UFC.
Lawler, a part of his lip lacking, spewed blood to the canvas when the bell sounded to finish the spherical and stood taking a look at his opponent who was additionally a multitude by this level. MacDonald, his nostril damaged, stared again as each males refused to interrupt eye contact till they have been dragged away by their respective corners.
A bloodsoaked Lawler stared down his opponent on the finish of spherical fourgetty The fighters needed to be separated by the refereegetty
#OnThisDay in 2015 Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald stared deep into one another’s souls
These two delivered us probably the most memorable fights in UFC historical past pic.twitter.com/pb70PkAeSF
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) July 11, 2022
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In the end, MacDonald fell to the ground within the fifth spherical of the co-main occasion after taking one too many photographs to his damaged nostril and absorbing an unbelievable quantity of harm within the 2015 Struggle of the Yr.
‘Infamous’ appeared within the octagon instantly after that struggle and stopped Chad Mendes to assert his first UFC title and high off an epic evening of fights on the MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment in Las Vegas.
The one unhappy factor about Lawler vs. MacDonald 2, is that neither fighter has actually been the identical since and now seem like well past their prime.
Lawler went to battle with Carlos Condit in his subsequent struggle and eked out a controversial break up choice win earlier than Tyron Woodley brutally ended his title reign with one punch.
MacDonald hit the ground within the remaining spherical after taking one too many punchesgetty McGregor topped off the cardboard by beating Chad MendesGetty Photographs – Getty
Since then, the 40-year-old has gained simply two of his final seven fights they usually have been in opposition to Donald Cerrone, who lately retired after enduring a seven-fight winless run, and Nick Diaz who hasn’t gained a struggle since 2011.
Final day trip, Lawler appeared good for 2 rounds in opposition to the at all times entertaining Bryan Barberena however was in the end knocked out at UFC 276.
MacDonald, 32, misplaced his subsequent struggle in opposition to Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and subsequently left the UFC.
The Canadian hasn’t been the identical since and has gone 5-6-1 within the 12 fights he’s taken in Bellator and PFL after his crushing loss to Lawler.