A welterweight title fight between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald will go down at UFC 189 during the promotion’s ‘International Fight Week’ festivities on July 11th in Las Vegas.
It’s a big fight, but it’ll have to make do with serving as the co-main event on the night as featherweight champion Jose Aldo’s eagerly anticipated fight with Conor McGregor will be taking on headline duties for the show on pay-per-view.
Lawler is currently on a three fight winning streak and claimed the title from Johny Hendricks in a hard-fought five round battle at UFC 181 in December which ended by split decision. The two had originally fought in March of the same year for the vacant belt in another highly competitive battle that Hendricks won by unanimous decision.
Prior to that Lawler had in fact bested his next opponent, MacDonald by split decision at UFC 167 in November of 2013. However, since then MacDonald has fought his way back into title contention with a three-fight unbeaten stretch that’s included victories over Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine.
Immediately after his latest victory MacDonald was hailed as the next title challenger by Dana White only for the opportunity to then be taken from him when the promotion decided to do a rubber match between Lawler and Hendricks instead.
Fan reaction was lukewarm to that announcement though and after Lawler requested time out to rest after a hectic 2014 fight schedule they put that plan on ice, instead opting to match-up Hendricks with Matt Brown and MacDonald with Hector Lombard.
The latter fight then fell through when Lombard tested positive for steroids during an out-of-competition test resulting in the UFC having to rework their fight schedule once again, paving the way for the Lawler Vs MacDonald rematch to take place after all.