One of the greatest title fights in UFC history will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame with the announcement that the UFC 189 clash between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald will be added to the Fight Wing this summer. The news was announced during the live main card broadcast of UFC 287 in Miami.
The bout, which saw Lawler put his UFC welterweight title on the line in the co-main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 11, 2015, saw the action swing back and forth as the pair traded shots in an epic encounter that left both men battered, bloodied and bruised as Lawler finally stopped MacDonald with strikes in the fifth round to retain his title in dramatic fashion.
The fight will be inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame at the induction ceremony on Thursday, July 6 at T-Mobile Arena, as part of UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
“The fight between Robbie Lawler and Rory McDonald at UFC 189 was one of the most exciting fights in UFC history,” said UFC president Dana White.
“This was an absolute war and a complete display of heart, grit, determination, and the will to win from both athletes. This five-round classic will always be remembered as one of the best and I can’t wait to induct this fight into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer.”
The matchup was a rematch of their prior bout at UFC 167, a non-title bout Lawler won by split decision to earn a shot at the vacant welterweight championship.
Lawler lost out Johny Hendricks in that title bout, but eventually claimed 170-pound gold with a split-decision win in their rematch at UFC 181. MacDonald was the natural first challenger for Lawler, and the pair met on a wild night in Las Vegas at UFC 189.
The main card of that event will go down in history as one of the UFC’s best-ever pay-per-view cards. But, despite a string of spectacular finishes from the likes of Thomas Almeida, Gunnar Nelson, and Jeremy Stephens, plus Conor McGregor’s interim featherweight title-winning finish of Chad Mendes, it was Lawler’s war with MacDonald that stole the show.
The bout won a host of accolades, including the Fighters Only World MMA Award for “Fight of the Year” for 2015, and now it’s set to be honored for eternity as part of the UFC Hall of Fame.
Photo credit: Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC