UFC fighters Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald were both taken to the hospital after what many are calling “one of the bloodiest fights ever” at UFC 189 on Saturday night.
Lawler suffered a split lip, swollen face, and other minor injuries. MacDonald suffered a broken foot, broken nose, and both of his eyes appeared severely swollen. MacDonald’s trainer Firas Zahabi posted a picture of the two in the hospital on his Instagram:
Zahabi captioned the photo, “In the end you find admiration and respect for one another. Thank you @ruthless_rl and @romac_gorilla for the amazing fight! Thank u to all the fans for the support!! #blessed“
Lawler and MacDonald’s title fight was the co-main event of UFC 189. Lawler opened the fight strong, breaking MacDonald’s nose in the first round. MacDonald, however, responded by winning the next three rounds and nearly knocking out Lawler with a flurry of attacks at the end of the third.
Down 3-1 on all three of the judges scorecards, Lawler’s camp knew he needed a knockout to win. Rather than quickly think of a new game plan, Lawler told UFC’s Megan Olivi that his corner told him to simply “show his heart.”
“Just go out there, it’s all heart,” Lawler recalled his corner telling him. “All strategy is done, let’s just go show your heart.”
A minute into the fifth and final round Lawler, landed a hard right left and repeatedly pummelled a helpless MacDonald before the referee stopped the fight, giving Lawler the win by knockout. In the immediate aftermath, MacDonald appeared almost lifeless in a disturbing GIF that made its way around the internet.
Images showing a closer look of both fighter’s injuries were posted to Twitter by UFC president Dana White and MacDonald himself.
(WARNING: Tweets below contain graphic images)
White named the fight the event’s “Fight of the Night,” and went to say it “might be the Fight of the Ever” in his post-event press conference. Here’s what White said about the fight (via SB Nation’s Shaun Al-Shatti):
“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.”
Lawler improved to 26-10 with one no decision, while MacDonald dropped to 18-3.
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