Rory MacDonald was 5 minutes away from bringing the UFC welterweight belt back to Canada. He was up 39-37 on all three scorecards, but Robbie Lawler had finished the 4th round strongly after being in massive danger earlier in that round and the end of the 3rd. MacDonald's nose was on the verge of falling off, Lawler's lip was split open, but Lawler had enough in the tank to keep hitting Rory on the nose until the challenger collapsed to the canvas in defeat. It was a dramatic end to an unforgettable war that had otherwise spent the entire UFC 189 build-up on the backburner to Aldo vs. McGregor and then Mendes vs. McGregor.
In the post-fight press conference, Dana White talked about last night's classic and put in perspective how completely out of it MacDonald was. According to him, Rory didn't know what year it was: (Via MMA Fighting)
"Robbie Lawler's lip, if you could've been in the Octagon and saw this lip, he would talk and this part of the lip would move and the other part wouldn't. [Rory MacDonald's] nose was broken. They asked him, when Rory got out back, they said, ‘what year is it?' He didn't know what year it was. First of all, it was a war. And a complete display of chin, heart, grit, dogged determination, and the will to win from both guys. When you talk about (the best) fights ever, that's what I'm talking about."
According to Firas Zahabi, MacDonald suffered both a fractured nose (which was obvious to anyone who watched the fight) and also a fractured right foot. It was a heartbreaking loss for the 25-year-old, who is likely going to be out for an extended period of time as he heals up from the bloodiest and gutsiest of fights.