Predictions: UFC 189 Mendes v McGregor, Lawler v MacDonald

ufc189 liveHaving attended or covered nearly 150 different MMA cards at 25 different venues has done nothing to numb the senses. There is still little in this world like the electricity in the air on a big fight weekend, let alone UFC’s annual July mega-event in Las Vegas. Tonight, we’ll be treated to a pair of title fights, including a main event that has more hype around it since the peak of Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. Ireland’s Connor McGregor is a real-life lightning rod; people either want to see him continue backing up everything he has said or can’t wait to see Chad Mendes shut his mouth. And the co-main event is no less deserving of attention, with Robbie Lawler set to defend his welterweight title against a man playing the role he once occupied more than a decade ago – the gifted, rising star, thought to be the heir apparent – in Canada’s Rory MacDonald.

I’m in Las Vegas covering the event, so be sure to follow along on twitter for all the latest news, notes, and opinions during the fights and at the UFC post-fight press conference.

To get you started, though, here are my predictions:

UFC Fight Pass Prelims (4pm PST / 7pm EST)

Yosdenis Cedeno > Cody Pfister

Neil Seery > Louis Smolka

UFC 189 Free Prelims, live on Fox Sports 1 (5pm PST / 8pm EST)

Cody Garbrandt > Henry Briones

Alex Garcia > Mike Swick

Cathal Pendred > John Howard

Tim Means > Matt Brown

UFC 189 Main Card, PPV (7pm PST / 10pm EST)

Thomas Almeida > Brad Pickett

Gunnar Nelson > Brandon Thatch

Dennis Bermudez > Jeremy Stephens*
* note: Stephens weighed in at 149.5, opted not to cut more weight and forfeited 20% of his purse

Robbie Lawler > Rory MacDonald (welterweight title)

Conor McGregor > Chad Mendes (interim featherweight title)

If you missed the weigh-ins yesterday, check out what went down:

Also, here is Thursday’s pre-fight press conference:

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