There will be no Dana White to stop UFC Featherweight fighter Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor when he takes on Chad 'Money' Mendes in the main event of UFC 189 on Saturday at Las Vegas, Nevada.
The duo headlining the pay-per-view almost traded blows at the MGM Grand Garden Arena during their pre-fight official weigh-in. Had the UFC President White not stopped them, the high-capacity crowd of close to 11,500 spectators present at the venue - a UFC record for a weigh-in - would have witnessed hard punches and knees between the two, a day before the official fight.
The two fierce fighters are scheduled for five rounds of battle in the Octagon for the UFC interim featherweight title, vacated by Jose Aldo. The bout was originally scheduled to take place between Aldo and the No. 1 contender McGregor, but the main event was scrapped as Aldo suffered a rib injury.
Therefore, Mendes - UFC Featherweight fighter ranked No. 1 in the world - now gets the shot for the interim title.
The MGM Arena exploded when McGregor, draped in an Irish flag, stepped on the stage for the official weigh-in. After Mendes came out and was weighed, he walked quickly and deliberately towards McGregor before White stepped forward to keep them apart.
However, the clash didn't end, as the duo soon launched a war of words. McGregor said: "Chad is an overblown midget. Tomorrow night I'm going to cut him in half and raise gold for Ireland, for my country." His opponent retorted, "It's time to take what's mine."
Both the fighters come in the backdrop of 17-2-0 record, and as for stats, 'The Notorious' is far ahead as far as the win percentage via Knockout / Technical Knockout (KO/TKO) is concerned.
The Irishman has a whopping 88% win record through KO/TKO, in comparison to the American's 41%.
Mendes however has an edge when getting most of the wins through submission is concerned. The No. 1 ranked UFC Featherweight fighter in the world has won six of his last seven fights in the Octagon and has won plaudits for his wrestling, speed, and power.
McGregor, currently ranked No. 3 fighter in the world by UFC, is on a different level altogether. He is on a 13-fight winning streak, and 15 of his wins have come via KO. He also boasts of a record of 12 first round finishes.
For the record, McGregor weighed the featherweight limit of 145 pounds, while Mendes was 144½.
In the co-main event, UFC Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler takes on challenger Rory MacDonald for the UFC Welterweight crown.
Where to Watch Live
UFC 189: Mendes vs McGregor airs LIVE on Fox Sports 1 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT (7:30am IST, 3am BST) with LIVE & EXCLUSIVE coverage in India on Sony SIX/SIX HD & KIX.
Four prelim bouts will be aired live on FOX Sports 2 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT. Viewers in the UK can catch the pay-per-view LIVE on BT Sport 2.