UFC 189 is set to go down in Vegas tonight with a much-anticipated interim title fight on top, though it's not the headliner people were expecting. Talented Irishman Conor McGregor was originally set to face off with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, but an Aldo injury has brought top contender Chad Mendes into the fray. Mendes and McGregor will battle for the UFC interim featherweight belt in the main event.
This post will cover the preliminary card. The card will open with two bouts that will air on UFC Fight Pass, then will move over to Fox Sports 1 for the remaining four bouts. The featured preliminary bout should be a barnburner, with Matt Brown taking on Tim Means in welterweight action.
Round 1 - Means coming forward with punches right away, Brown went for a head kick. Means looked for a backfist. No spin, just a backfist. Two lefts back Brown off immediately. Another lands. Brown with an eyepoke. Means probably can't see but he wants to keep fighting. Body shot from Means. Brown looked like he wobbled Means. Brown with a body lock and they worked against the fence. For a while. They separate halfway through the round. Brown with two rights, and head kick. Means looking for a takedown, but Brown locked up a guillotine. He switched it up and got a takedown. Means got up quick, but ate a knee to the belly. Straight right for Brown. Front kick to the belly from Means. Means with a left and an elbow that busted Brown open. It's hard to keep up with the PBP here! Another hard elbow from Means. Brown with an elbow! Means went for a takedown but Brown locked up a choke! Means tapped! BY FAR the best fight of the night so far!
Matt Brown defeated Tim Means by submission (guillotine choke), 4:44 of round 1
Round 1 - Garcia comes in early with a big slam takedown. Swick with some punches from the bottom. He kicked his way out but caught a shot on the way up. Garcia with another takedown against the cage. He's not doing a lot but controlling position. Swick back up halfway through the round. Jab from Swick. Swick caught a kick and kicked Garcia in the ass. Garcia lands a left. Swick with a nice right. Garcia smiling after missing a few times. Another Swick jab. 10-9 Garcia.
Round 2 - Garcia gets in on a double and gets the takedown. Swick up after about a minute with a knee. Two-punch combo from Garcia. Jab from Swick. Swich caught with a counter left. Garcia backed him up with punches but landed a knee up the middle. Left hook from Swick. Garcia with a right over the top that made Swick smile. Body kick by Swick. Nice jab by Swick. Garcia shot in for a takedown and scored with a big slam into side control. He chose to work from half with a few punches. 10-9 Garcia.
Round 3 - Straight left from Garcia. Jab from Swick. Garcia just missed with an overhand right. Each man scores with a right. They're both missing with a lot too. Swick with another jab. Garcia with another slam takedown, despite Swick grabbing the fence. Garcia slid into mount with 90 seconds to go. Swick tried to lock him down but couldn't. Swick got it back to half guard with 45 seconds to go. Back to mount. Garcia isn't posturing up to deal damage though. Swick is bleeding. Garcia looked for a late armbar but couldn't get it. 10-9 and 30-27 Garcia.
Alex Garcia defeated Mike Swick by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1 - Pendred looked for a flying knee right away. Irish crowd is very loud. Both score with leg kicks. Left hook for Howard. Body kick from Howard, he caught the leg but couldn't do anything with it. Howard with some punches over the top in the clinch. Body kick caught again. Knees to the body from Pendred in the clinch. They finally separate with two minutes to go. Howard with more over-the-top punches in a brief clinch. Left hook from Howard. Leg kick from Howard. Two right hooks score for Howard while Pendred looked to clinch up against the cage. More knees from Pendred. Close, but I'll go 10-9 Howard.
Round 2 - Pendred faked a takedown and landed a knee to the belly. Howard with a winging right and an uppercut. Another uppercut. Howard beating Pendred up to the body and head in the clinch. Probably landed 12 shots. Nice straight left from Howard. Winging right for Pendred. Pendred faked a takedown, clinched, and ate four punches trying to land a knee. Pendred backed Howard against the cage. Five knees to the belly from Pendred. They separated. Light inside leg kick from Pendred. Hard leg kick from Howard. And another. Pendred responds with his own. Pendred stopped pressuring after those kicks. Howard with a left hook and two rights before the horn. 10-9 Howard.
Round 3 - Leg kick from Howard. Pendred looked for a takedown but couldn't get it. Pendred leg kick. Howard with a combo ended with a big leg kick. Pendred's leg is damaged. Same clinch work as before - Howard punching over the top, Pended landing knees to the body. More clinch work in the middle of the cage. Howard looked for a trip and Pendred went for a guillotine. He popped his head out but couldn't jump into Pendred's guard. Howard stuffed a takedown and landed a bunch of punches in the clinch. Slow pace down the stretch. Howard with a kick and a left. Both men land to the horn, with Doomsday getting the better of it. 10-9 and 30-27 Howard.
John Howard defeated Cathal Pendred by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Round 1 - Both men feeling each other out to start. Briones landed a left. Leg kick from Garbrandt. Really not much at all happening over the first half of the round. Briones with another left. Briones misses with a spinning back fist. Briones missed and Garbrandyt scored with a nice combo. Briones fired back with a jab. Briones stumbled in and Garbrandt briefly looked for a guillotine, but didn't drop down. Nice jab and straight right from Garbrandt. Briones with a counter right but got taken down. Elbow from Garbrandt, and big hammerfists. He took the back just before the horn. 10-9 Garbrandt.
Round 2 - Inside leg kick from Cody. Combo from Garbrandt, counter left hook from Briones. Body kick from Briones. Big combo from Garbrandt again. Garbrandt stepped in and dropped him with a hard right. He landed a few hammerfists but Briones got up. With a bloodied nose. Both land jabs. Briones with a right hook and a knee. Another jab. Body kick from Garbrandt. Both landed lefts. Both with big counters. 10-9 Garbrandt.
Round 3 - Cody with a leg kick. Briones with a left. Jab from Garbrandt. Slow pace, like the first. Lots of feinting, not a lot of striking. Jab from Briones. Code with a strong straight right. Flying knee from Cody but Briones responded with a left. Garbrandt scores with a right and a jab. Briones responded to a Cody left with two of his own. Briones with a right in close, and one at range too. Garbrandt may have been a tad wobbled. Briones pressured and clipped Cody's chin again with the right, but Garbrandt immediately got a takedown. He let Briones up, then attacked with a flying knee. Briones brought the pressure again, scoring with a right. Garbrandt replied with a right. They brawled to the horn with Garbrandt getting the best of it. Too bad they didn't do that the whole fight. 10-9 and 30-27 Garbrandt.
Cody Garbrandt defeated Henry Briones by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1 - Smolka clinched up and looked for knees but ate a series over rights over the top. Clash of heads stops the action briefly, and Seery has a small cut over his left eye. Seery clubbed Smolka while he was looking for a flying attack and sent him to the mat. He looked to take advantage but Smolka ended up on top. Seery looked for a guilllotine but Smolka defended. Smolka looked for a slam and dodged an omoplata. Fun scrambling. Smolka looking for a guillotine from the top. Seery squirmed out but Smolka used some great control and looked for a D'Arce. Seery defended well but Smolka kept adjusting and trying to finish it. Finally he moved to a high mount. He ended up with the back and a body triangle. Good round. 10-9 Smolka.
Round 2 - Smolka landed a couple of kicks while Seery stuck to boxing. They went to the ground and scrambled a bit but nothing came of it. Smolka tried to throw Seery's leg over his head but couldn't secure him on the floor. He did get a nice trip takedown a few seconds later though. Seery looked for an armbar but Smolka escaped and took his back. Smolka almost got a choke but Seery kept his chin low. Seery tried to land a few punches to the Smolka's face but couldn't get him off his back. Another weird/fun scramble. 10-9 Smolka.
Round 3 - Seery tried to box Smolka up right away but got taken down again. He was able to get a brief omoplata and used it to get up. They clinched up - Smolka with knees, Seery with an elbow. Smolka hit a sick takedown but it didn't say there. Seery looked for a guillotine and Smolka sort of fell right into it. It looked bad but Smolka seemed fine. Smolka used a Von Flue choke attempt to make Seery give up on it, and locked up his own triangle. He couldn't get it, so he jumped back into mount, took the back, and looked for a rear naked choke. Seery somehow escaped, but got slammed back to the mat. Once again he looked for the guillotine. Smolka held on and they scrambled once again. Smolka with a slam and immediately tried for another arm triangle. Seery looked okay though and punched the ribs. I'll go 10-9 and 30-27 Smolka, but it was a great fight.
Louis Smolka defeated Neil Seery by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Round 1 - Both men got down to it right away. Pfister trying to lead with a jab, while Cedeno kicks and looks for a lead left. Inside leg kick from Cedeno. Cedeno is staying out of range of Pfister's right hook, though he is circling in that direction. Cedeno clinched up but it was Pfister who got a brief takedown. He wasn't able to establish position on the floor though. Hard inside leg kick from Cedeno. Pfister with a right after Cedeno missed. Cedeno with three leg kicks, then started pointing at it before he kicked it. Pfister was forced to change stances briefly. Cedeno pointing and kicking again. Kind of odd. Jab from Pfister. 10-9 Cedeno for the kicks.
Round 2 - Pfister trying to walk Cedeno down but isn't connecting with much. Cedeno with a winging counter right after a kick. Another inside leg kick. Pfister ducked under for a very nice takedown. He moved right to side. Cedeno gave up his back to get up and Pfister took it. Pfister worked from underneath with hooks. Cedeno suddenly broke one and powered into a reversal. Beautiful. Pfister locked him down though and Cedeno could do nothing with the position. The ref stood them up. Pfister almost immediately shot in for another takedown and got it. They moved over to the cage. After a minute, Cedeno finally made a mistake trying to escape and Pfister took his back. Cedeno tried to spin out and got mounted. Cedeno escaped to his feet late though. 10-9 Pfister.
Round 3 - Pfister dove in for an immediate takedown and while he got Cedeno down to his butt, he struggled to go any further. Cedeno stalled out long enough to get a (quick) standup. A weak single by Pfister got Cedeno to the floor. He wasn't doing much but controlling position and occasionally landing to the body. Cedeno tried to scoot away and once again had his back taken. Cedeno hit the same reversal as the first round but Pfister didn't go to his back. Cedeno looked for a guillotine and ended up on the bottom again. Once again Pfister just tied him up until Cedeno gave up his back. Same reversal again, but it's way too late. 10-9 and 29-28 Pfister.
Cody Pfister defeated Yosdenis Cedeno by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)