Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brass will put on one of the year's most anticipated pay-per-view (PPV) events tonight (Sat., July 11, 2015) in Las Vegas, Nevada as the MGM Grand Garden Arena plays host to the UFC 189 mixed martial arts (MMA) extravaganza, highlighted by title fights in the welterweight and featherweight divisions respectively.
Catch all the action LIVE with a PPV main card start time of 10 p.m. ET (for up-to-date UFC 189 results click here).
Below is everything you need to know to stay on top of the PPV event in "Sin City."
Who: Chad Mendes vs Conor McGregor, Robbie Lawler vs Rory MacDonald
What: UFC 189
When: Sat., July 11, 2015, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Fight Pass
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
How To Watch: Main card at 10 p.m ET on PPV; FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" under card at 8 p.m ET; and UFC Fight Pass early "Prelims" at 7 p.m. ET.
Live UFC 189 results: Play-by-play coverage stream right here
Why It Matters: This is pretty self-explanatory, but UFC 189 features two title fights -- even though the interim featherweight title is nothing more than a promotional tool -- and that guarantees fight fans two major consequential bouts this evening. The most captivating storyline of UFC 189 will be whether or not Conor McGregor backs up his trash talk once again, defeating Chad Mendes and earning UFC gold in "Sin City." If "The Notorious" one can take out "Money," UFC brass will have a massive title fight on their hands pitting champion vs champion when Jose Aldo is ready to return and settle the score against his Irish rival.
What's Hot: This PPV is absolutely stacked, and should be an amazing night for fight fans, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention how incredibly excited I am to witness violence personified when Matt Brown steps into the Octagon in the "Prelims" main event to take on Tim Means. Both "The Immortal" and the "Dirty Bird" have made careers out of pushing forward with reckless abandon, punishing their opponents in the process. I'll leave you with this stat: Means and Brown boast a combined 26 career knockout victories, and neither man has been knocked out themselves. Fight of the night right here!
What's Not: UFC 189 is a very strong card, so this section will simply be nitpicking. Ultimately, I find it egregious UFC brass slated Thomas Almeida to fight Brad Pickett on the opening bout of the main card. "Thominhas" -- who is 19-0 with 18 career finishes -- is fresh off a vicious beating and finish over 36-year old veteran Yves Jabouin, so instead of matching him up against stiffer competition, UFC brass opted to feed the Brazilian wrecking machine another 36-year old on a major career slump. Pickett was once a revered bantamweight, but after a failed run in the 125-pound division that saw "One Punch" go 1-2, the Englishman is getting one more crack inside the Octagon at 135 pounds. Unfortunately for him, Pickett will have to try and stop the imminent onslaught from Almeida.
Original Card vs Actual Card:
No UFC card is safe from the dreaded injury bug, and after a World Tour, massive media hype, and UFC brass spending more money to promote the scheduled UFC 189 main event between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor than any other fight in company history, it seemed only logical the champion would bow out of the fight due to a rib injury.
Thankfully, former No. 1 contender Chad Mendes stepped up to the plate to fight the Irishman on just about two weeks' notice, saving UFC 189 in the process.
The other changes to the card were minor, but Nate Diaz was set to return to the Octagon to battle Matt Brown, but that fight was scrapped after Diaz balked. In his place, Tim Means will battle "The Immortal."
Finally, with John Hathaway injured prior to his battle against Gunnar Nelson, UFC pulled Brandon Thatch from his scheduled fight against John Howard in order to take on the Icelandic native.
Howard will now face Conor McGregor's stablemate, Cathal Pendred on the "Prelims."
How The "Prelims" Look: Overall, UFC 189 has a very strong "Prelims" card to get excited for.
Top level prospects in Cody Garbrandt, Thomas Almeida, and Alex Garcia all throw down, plus savvy veterans Brad Pickett and Mike Swick make appearances as well.
While some of the matchups are questionable, the "Prelims" main event is absolutely outstanding. Whatever your plans are this evening, do not miss Matt Brown vs Tim Means. That welterweight slugfest truly has an opportunity to be the "Fight of the Year" when it is all said and done.
Who Needs A Win Badly: This portion is reserved for fighters who could be fighting for their jobs today, rather than contenders or title challengers needing victory. Let's take a look at those who need to pull it together:
John Howard (vs. Cathal Pendred): Howard has lost three straight fights, including a knockout loss to Lorenz Larkin his last time out, but UFC brass is giving "Doomsday" one more opportunity to keep his job with a win in Vegas tonight. If Howard becomes Pendred's fourth straight victim, he won't have a spot on the UFC roster come Monday.
Brad Pickett (vs. Thomas Almeida): "One Punch" is currently in the worst slump of his career, and at 36-years old, UFC 189 could very well be the last time we see Pickett fight in MMA. The WEC veteran has accrued a mediocre 4-5 UFC record, and a loss to Almeida tonight could spell the end of his career.
Jeremy Stephens (vs. Dennis Bermudez): While I don't think UFC brass will cut "Lil' Heathen" if he loses at UFC 189, three losses in a row certainly won't bode well for his career prospects inside the Octagon.
Interest Level: 9/10
UFC 189 is truly an outstanding card featuring title fights, monumental storylines, potential "Fight of the Year" candidates, and a whole lot more.
The only reason I can't give UFC 189 a perfect score is simply because Jose Aldo is not going to be fighting Conor McGregor tonight. In all honesty, I may have given the event a 10/10 if UFC brass did the right thing and gave the interim title shot to Frankie Edgar, but that's just me.
Anyhow, tonight should be an amazing ride, and could truly be a huge moment for the sport if "The Notorious" one leaves the Octagon with the belt firmly strapped around his waist.
Check out the full UFC 189 card right here:
UFC 189 PPV Main Event:
145 lbs.: Chad Mendes vs. Conor McGregor for the interim featherweight championship
UFC 189 PPV Co-Main Event:
170 lbs.: UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald
UFC 189 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Dennis Bermudez vs. Jeremy Stephens
170 lbs.: Gunnar Nelson vs. Brandon Thatch
135 lbs.: Thomas Almeida vs. Brad Pickett
UFC 189 FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Matt Brown vs. Tim Means
170 lbs.: John Howard vs. Cathal Pendred
170 lbs.: Alex Garcia vs. Mike Swick
135 lbs.: Henry Briones vs. Cody Garbrandt
UFC 189 Fight Pass "Prelims" (7 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Neil Seery vs. Louis Smolka
155 lbs.: Yosdenis Cedeno vs. Cody Pfister
Remember: MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 189 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.
For more information on UFC 189, including the full fight card, results, news, and more,click here.