Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 189 and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21 Finale blew the roof off the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday and Sunday night (July 11-12, 2015), respectively, in Las Vegas, Nevada
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Chad Mendes, who was knocked out by Conor McGregor in round number two of their main event title fight at UFC 189 (video highlights). And Brandon Thatch, who was choked out by Gunnar Nelson in the very first round (recap).
But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?
"Red King" looked to finally claim the welterweight throne after being pegged as Georges St. Pierre's heir apparent. But division kingpin Robbie Lawler wasn't ready to give it up just yet.
In what was one of the most entertaining and violent fights of 2015, Lawler and MacDonald put it all on the line, going toe-to-toe for nearly five rounds with both men finding success in the exchanges. In fact, going into the fifth and final round, Rory was up in the judges' scorecards.
All he had to do was hold on for a few short minutes and make it to the final bell. Unfortunately, by that time, MacDonald was busted up from ear to ear and his nose was a shell of its former self, thanks to Lawler's heavy hands.
Oh, and did we mention he also had a broken right foot?
In the end, Lawler delivered a crushing strike to Rory's beak which sent the Canadian superstar tumbling to the canvas in obvious pain. Thankfully, the official on duty went in and prevented "Ruthless" from raining down unnecessary punches on the fallen warrior.
And Rory proved he is just that.
Despite the loss, with his gutsy performance, MacDonald may have finally silenced many who criticized the 25-year-old for sticking to his jab, jab-punch routine in order to get the "W," as four of his last five wins have come via decision. Some even questioned the young fighter's tenacity, based on the lack of high-profile finishes on his resume.
A ridiculous sentiment, to say the least, as MacDonald has proven time and again he is as skilled and dangerous as they come. And after last night's war against Lawler, he proved that he is more than willing to engage and not back down from an all-out striking battle.
Sadly, this time around, it didn't go in his favor.
But, MacDonald still has youth on his side, and he still has more than enough time to get back to the big dance on more than one occasion. Plus, Rory is still one of the top welterweights on the UFC roster, which means his next fight will likely be against someone high up in the rankings.
Having said that, a fight against Matt Brown, who broke his two-fight skid at UFC 189, will be a good test for "Red King" once he's ready and able to return.