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VIDEOS: McGregor vs. Mendes & Lawler vs. MacDonald ‘Countdown to UFC 189′ Specials

It may not be the fight we (or the UFC) wanted, but dammit, it’s the one we’re going to get this weekend.

Now that Jose Aldo has gone down with a rib injury, Conor McGregor will face Chad Mendes in the main event of UFC 189, and as such, the UFC has scrambled to release their traditional Countdown episodes to hype up the match. It’s about time if you ask me, because I had barely heard of the chatty Irishman with the fancy suits and funky tattoos prior to this.

Check out the full McGregor vs. Mendes Countdown special above, then head after the jump to see what welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald have planned for their second go-around in Saturday’s co-main event.

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VIDEOS: Kickstart Your Week With the Full ‘UFC 187 Countdown’ Special

Although it might not be the card it once was, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone complaining about the lineup of this weekend’s UFC 187 card. You’ve got Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier for the “undisputed but actually still quite disputable” light heavyweight title in the night’s main event, Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort in an “Oh Thank God, they’re both finally healthy” middleweight title fight, and names like Cerrone, Arlovski, Dodson, and Thug Rose punctuating the rest of the card. I mean, it’s no Fight Night: Broomfield, but it’s still really something.

So in order to get us hyped up for this week’s action, the UFC has generously made their Countdown series for the event available online via their Youtube channel. You can check out a full preview of Cormier vs. Johnson above, then head after the jump to hear Belfort talk about the power of Jesus while Weidman challenges Matt Serra to a hoagie-off and fails miserably.

(Fair warning: I can not confirm with 100% certainty that either of those things happen in the Weidman-Belfort Countdown, but am simply taking an educated guess.)

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Video: Countdown to UFC 140


(Meanwhile, back at the GQ press conference.)

In case you missed the full episode this week, we’ve got the entire UFC 140 countdown show for you right here.

Not sure if the production crew for the show has changed since the UFC has cut ties with SPIKE, but this episode has a much different feel than past editions, including new graphic and title sequences and a lot of slow motion shots .

Overall it’s a decent show.

One interesting factoid that came out of the episode is that Only Chuck Liddell in the past five years has successfully defended the UFC light heavyweight belt more than once. Jones has done it once and so has Machida.

Personally, I don’t feel that Lyoto deserves to be a 4 to 1 underdog, but I guess we’ll know come Saturday night.

Check out the entire show after the jump.

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Video: Countdown to UFC 110


(Props: UFC.com via Card)

"The guy who won’t stop ’til you’re done, and the guy who can’t be stopped" — so says Dana White in the latest installment of Countdown when describing the UFC 110 main event between Cain Velasquez and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. It’s a matchup that seems to hit almost all the buttons. Besides the Irresistible Force/Immovable Object dichotomy, you’ve got the young up-and-comer vs. the war-weathered veteran, the ground-and-pounder vs. the submission artist, the American vs. the Brazilian. Nogueira is feeling as strong as ever thanks to his new S&C coach and his training at the stacked Black House gym. Velasquez is ready to fight the big names he’s watched since the sport was young. But is he ready to beat them?

Meanwhile, another Brazilian legend, Wanderlei Silva, faces a must-win situation against British star Michael Bisping. Bisping and his camp respect Silva, but Wandy’s UFC bonus checks and BJJ black belt don’t mean shit to them. We learn a few things about Silva in this show: He’s back with his original trainer Rafael Cordeiro, and looking to recapture the "old" Wanderlei Silva. He started his own gym partly because nobody wanted to train with him at Xtreme Couture. His fans are really his friends, and the fighters he develops are really his family. He snores, which is something his funny little manager knows all about.

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Video: Countdown to UFC 91 Tonight

“Countdown to UFC 91″ airs tonight on Spike TV at 11 pm EST/PST. In this brief taste we get an idea of what the storyline between Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar is going to be, but somehow it still feels like less than an all-out promotional blitz for an event Dana White predicted would top one million pay-per-view buys. Maybe they think this one sells itself. Maybe they think the wrestling fans will come out in droves to buy this one like they never have before. Maybe they finally realized that the undercard is caught somewhere between mediocre and painfully weak, and they’re already thinking about hyping UFC 92.

After the jump, Matt Lindland stops by to give his analysis of the Couture-Lesnar matchup.

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Video: Countdown to UFC 89

In the official UFC 89 hype video we continue to hear about Chris Leben‘s transformation as a fighter, which has quickly become one of the main storylines heading into this event. Oddly, with all the talk about Leben’s transition from brawler to technically sound MMA fighter, whenever anyone talks about his strengths they inevitably end up talking mostly about the characteristics of a brawler (hard-hitting, looping punches, good chin, etc.) while ascribing to Michael Bisping the characteristics of a technical fighter (straight punches, apparently, which is laughable to Chris Wilson). Not saying Leben isn’t a different fighter these days, just saying the whole thing is interesting.

Anyway, give it a look and you won’t be disappointed. Despite burning through all the stock footage of British landmarks in existence, it’s another solid effort from the Countdown crew.

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