UFC 189: Aldo vs. McGregor Date: July 11, 2015 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena Broadcast: PPV UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler Robbie Lawler (25-10, 1 NC) is one of the last of the old guard as a Miletich Fighting System pupil, born out of the Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver and Tim Sylvia fighting school of the world. Lawler began fighting when he was 19-years-old, and made his UFC debut way back in the day at UFC 37. Since then, Lawler has beaten and lost to a who’s who in the sport, including knocking out Frank Trigg, Melvin Manhoef, Matt Lindland and more. Post UFC, he was up and down in Strikeforce’s middleweight division, still showing his awesome knockout power occasionally but mostly being outgrappled by larger men. But since returning to the UFC in 2013 and dropping down to the welterweight division, Lawler has been nothing but a stud, going 6-1 overall with wins over Johny Hendricks, Matt Brown Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Bobby Voelker and Josh Koscheck with the lone loss coming to Hendricks in a close fight at UFC 171, although he redeemed himself in the rematch at UFC 182. After beating Hendricks for the belt, Lawler decided to take a few months off to relax, but he’ll return this summer and in his first title defence takes on MacDonald in a rematch at UFC 189 in what should be an all-out war. UFC Welterweight Contender Rory MacDonald A man who many consider the future of the UFC welterweight division, Rory MacDonald (18-2) is just 25 years of age, with his only losses coming against former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit and current No. 1 contender Robbie Lawler. Since the loss to Lawler, MacDonald has defeated Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine to emerge as one of the top contenders for the UFC welterweight title, especially since his mentor Georges St-Pierre took a break from the spot. At present time, MacDonald is currently as close as you can get to the top of the division without actually being the champ. The lanky Canadian is a deadly finisher as he possesses ground-and-pound as lethal as MMA fans have ever seen, and he seems to be growing hungrier for a title shot with every fight as he continually shows improvement. Anyone who faces MacDonald at this point will have a difficult time, because when he’s up close his wrestling is very strong and when he’s on the feet he uses his jab to keep the range, and these skills make him a bad matchup for anyone at 170lbs. He was set to take on Hector Lombard at UFC 186 in a title eliminator, but after Lombard got popped for steroids MacDonald was given a title shot against Lawler, and he’ll face the champ in a rematch at UFC 189. Opening UFC 189 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made MacDonald a -140 favorite (bet $140 to win $100) while Lawler opened dead event at +100 (bet $100 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. This is the long-awaited rematch between two of the finest fighters on the entire UFC roster. In the pair’s first meeting, Lawler entered the bout as a big underdog but after two close rounds he was able to hurt MacDonald badly in the third round and pick up a split decision victory. Since that fight, Lawler has gone 3-1 in the UFC, picking up the welterweight title in the process, while MacDonald has gone 3-0 to earn a title shot and thus, a rematch with Lawler. And this should be a great fight. These are two of the most well-rounded fighters in the welterweight division and I’m expecting a closely-contested mixed martial arts battle for 25 minutes. Despite Lawler winning the pair’s first fight and looking great since then, MacDonald has also looked tremendous as of late and you cannot count him out just because of what happened in their initial scrap. This rematch is a close fight and it’s tough to pick a winner, so that’s why you see the odds so close.