The current general consensus amongst MMA fans and media alike is that UFC 189 was the greatest mixed martial arts pay-per-view of all-time. Sure, it’s easy to call any solid event the “best ever” as it’s happening or even the following morning during the afterglow.
Now that we’ve had a handful of days to digest said event – we’re still having a tough time finding one that was better. Ever. Before the UFC 189 started, a little welterweight contest between Matt “The Immortal” Brown and Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means woke up the world after five below average fights opened up a card that in the end would blow the proverbial roof off of Las Vegas’ legendary MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Thankfully for Brown, UFC President Dana White finally allowed the now 20-fight UFC veteran to walkout to his “Death Metal, Kill Your Family” music; Dana’s words, not mine. The song Brown walked out to is titled “Immortal” and it was written by Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta, a legend in the metal scene, as a tribute to the UFC fan favorite.
An already frenetic opening round between these two highly respected veterans went into full “Mortal Kombat” mode when Means landed a gorgeous standing left elbow to counter what appeared to be a left uppercut attempt from the circling Brown with just 48 seconds left in the opening round.
“Fortunately, he hit me with a elbow and it woke me up. Nobody wants to trade elbows with me I can promise you that and he made that mistake.” – Matt Brown
Just 18 seconds later, Brown unleashed a right elbow on the skull of Means that sent a message to both the fans and the main card fighters of UFC 189 in one violent and calculated motion. Brown would follow-up with another elbow which led to a tight guillotine that would force Means to tap immediately.
To the fans, Brown’s elbow took everyone who was on the fence about ordering the event and pushed them right over it with authority. To the fighters, Brown was daring them to try and show him up.
On paper, this was the perfect match up to lead into the biggest UFC event of the year. In the cage, it exceeded expectations. The five fights that followed would do the same.