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UFC 189 results: Robbie Lawler somehow survives, rallies, to score nose-crunching fifth round knockout of Rory MacDonald

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

To watch Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald full fight video highlights from last night click here.

As Robbie Lawler likes to say, tonight (Sat., July 11, 2015) it was time to run it back.

Lawler put his Welterweight belt on the line for the first time ever against Rory MacDonald in the co-main event of UFC 189, which took place inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

And he was even more "Ruthless" than when he first collided with "Red King" two years ago, scoring a nose-crushing knockout in round five after nearly getting finished himself.

MacDonald immediately came out kicking, looking to perhaps keep the power-punching Lawler at close range. The Canadian pawed that jab, too, looking to capitalize on his length and reach advantage early. Lawler circled to his right, left hand cocked, looking to explode with something violent.

Midway through the opening frame and it was a rather pedestrian affair, neither fighting wanting to take big risks or make mistakes with four more rounds remaining.

MacDonald dove in with a takedown, Lawler sprawled, and just missed with a looping left that could have done serious damage as they got back to their feet. Lawler would land a nice combination with about 15 seconds left in a round that can best be described as cautious.

Round two started much like the first, MacDonald flipping kicks and Lawler circling to his right. Both fighters traded jabs as the boisterous crowd began to grow impatient. MacDonald, though, began to catch Lawler with more frequency as Lawler's face and belly began to turn red.

Lawler landed a nice combination, followed by a stiff jab, that appeared to stun MacDonald. Not for long, though, as he fired back. Lawler began to heat up and MacDonald could no longer maintain he measured pace as his face was dripping blood, most likely because of broken/cut nose.

MacDonald came out for the third round pumping jabs as Lawler danced in front of him. Lawler put together a nice combination that he ended with a huge left hand, followed be a strong jab, that opened up MacDonald's face early. He went for a takedown, but once again, Lawler was able to defend and punish him for the effort.

MacDonald's face at this point looked like it was eaten by a bear (pic).

Lawler continued to push the pace, but MacDonald drilled him with a high kick that he was able to block, but the shock he could not shake. MacDonald realized he was hurt bad and pounced, drilling him with a barrage of punches. Somehow Lawler remained upright and fired back some sloppy punches, but he was ultimately saved by the bell as he wobbled back to his corner.

MacDonald went back to head kick early and Lawler was dazed once again. MacDonald battered him up against the cage with elbows and punches as the referee repeatedly check in with Lawler to ensure he was coherent. He probably wasn't, but he continued to fire back regardless -- MacDonald could not finish him despite Lawler being hurt in a major way.

Lawler, slowly, began to somewhat recover, finding a home for his jab as MacDonald continued to launch the headlock. MacDonald went for another takedown, but Lawler defended it again and made him pay ... again.

As the fourth round came to a close, both fighters were clearly spent, their faces total disasters.

Lawler couldn't wait to go after MacDonald to start the fifth and final round -- he was going to go out on his shield. He drilled MacDonald with a crushing straight right early that must have crunched the already broken nose of MacDonald, who could no longer endure the pain, falling to his back with his hands over his face.

Lawler described the end result as, 'the accumulation of a beatdown."

What an amazing match -- certainly a "Fight of the Year" candidate. They don't get much better than that.

For complete results from UFC 189: "Mendes vs. McGregor," including play-by-play updates, click here.

MMA Video: UFC 189 was one of the most memorable nights in UFC history