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USA Today

UFC 189’s promotional “world tour” wrapped up in Dublin on Tuesday, with Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor and the excitement for their featherweight title fight all still alive and well.

But there were some touchy moments there, right?

During the 11-day promotional swing through 10 cities and across three continents, McGregor's pursuit of the 145-pound title straddled a fine line. As he’s apt to do, the 26-year-old Irishman needled Aldo at every stop, infuriating and provoking the longtime champion but stopping just short of inciting any kind of actual physical violence.

The climax came in McGregor's hometown, where an estimated 3,000 Dubliners came out to cheer the challenger and jeer his Brazilian opponent.

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Don Feria/Associated Press

If there were any doubts that Ronda Jean Rousey is the Ultimate Fighting Championship's biggest star (and perhaps its biggest-ever star), those notions were dispelled on Sunday.

As you may have heard by now, Rousey jumped the railing at WrestleMania and, side by side with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, appeared to set up a tag team match for next year's WrestleMania in Dallas: Rousey and The Rock vs. the real-life husband-and-wife power duo of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Paul Levesque (Triple H's real name) and his wife are the future operators of World Wrestling Entertainment (provided Vince McMahon is not, in fact, immortal).

Already their fingerprints are being felt on the product, Rousey included. Even one year ago, the idea of a UFC champion being involved in what was essentially one of the two biggest angles on the WWE's biggest and most prideful show of the year was an unthinkable one.

But Rousey has reached a plateau that few, if any, UFC stars have ever reached.

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

On October 24, 2013, Ryan Cobbins left his home and headed toward the barbershop he'd been going to for well over two years, on 39th Street and Prospect Avenue in Kansas City. He had an 11 a.m. appointment scheduled at the shop. It was a regular thing for Cobbins; he got his hair braided there at least once or twice a month.

On this day, though, something went wrong. Cobbins disappeared, somehow vanishing into broad daylight. His Camaro was discovered days later in an apartment complex parking lot, but Cobbins was nowhere to be found.

On November 4, Kansas City police officially began looking into Cobbins as a missing persons case. They implored locals to call the KCPD Missing Persons hotline if they knew any information that could lead them to Cobbins.

Cobbins and his brother, the Bellator bantamweight L.C. Davis, grew up together. They did not have the most stable of childhoods, living in "pretty much every suburb" Kansas City had to offer. Their single mother moved them around constantly in her search for work. They eventually moved to live with their grandmother. When Davis was in high school, he left his little brother and his mom behind, moving in with his dad, feeling that his father could offer a more stable living environment. But he still came back on holidays and each summer. Even when Davis moved to Iowa, they stayed in touch, and Cobbins would visit when he could.

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USA Today

It’s a testament to Brock Lesnar’s greatness that anybody even still wanted the guy.

That’s not an insult; it’s a compliment.

At 37 years old and on the heels of two bouts with a life-threatening disease, most professional athletes would be considered lost property. Lesnar hasn’t fought since 2011, and his last two UFC appearances ended in lopsided TKO losses. His current profile, therefore, doesn’t exactly scream “hot prospect.”

But this guy is special. Always has been.

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Photo by Jeremy Botter

LAS VEGAS — Out near the edges of Las Vegas sits Red Rock Resort and Casino, the sprawling, gleaming centerpiece of the Fertitta family's locals-centric casino empire. It is all glass and stucco, rising against the backdrop of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The Fertittas own a series of Station Casinos, which generally look as though they have not received much of a face-lift since they were erected in a different era.

But Red Rock (and its sister Green Valley Ranch) is different. They are modern, sleek and a sheer pleasure to experience. They are also 25 minutes from the strip, which means no hustle and very little bustle. Tourism here is limited because of the distance, which gives Red Rock a quieter vibe. There are fewer walks of shame, but you take the good with the bad. There is also live bingo, which you most certainly file under the good.

Red Rock, then, was the perfect location for Monday's low-key media event featuring UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and brash challenger Conor McGregor. It was the second stop on the pair's promotional world tour, which will swirl and whoosh around the globe until March 31, when it draws to its conclusion in the only logical place: Dublin, McGregor's hometown, a place where he can no longer walk down the street without being mobbed.

So it began in Rio de Janeiro and will end in Dublin, and in July, both men will return to Las Vegas for the most anticipated UFC fight of the year. On Monday, however, they were not fighting. They were not even together. They were kept as separated as the UFC's public relations staff could keep them, with a 25-minute buffer stuck squarely between their separate interview sessions.

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Getty Images

After years of speculation, Brock Lesnar finally put MMA fans hoping for his return out of their misery. There will be no second act for Lesnar, at least not in the cage. 

Instead, the WWE champion told ESPN's Jonathan Coachman he was pulling the plug on his MMA career.

"It was a very hard decision at this stage of my career," Lesnar said. "The fighter inside me wants to compete. The father and husband—I'm an older caveman now. I make wiser caveman decisions. So, I'm here to say my legacy in the Octagon is over."

With his career officially over, it's time to turn our attention to his legacy. Bleacher Report lead writers Jonathan Snowden and Jeremy Botter, MMA's version of Starsky and Hutch, tackle the only question that matters in the wake of this stunning announcement—how will MMA fans remember Brock Lesnar?

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USA Today

Got plans for Saturday night, UFC fans?

No? You better make some.

After this weekend, you aren’t going to have much free time until—oh—October or so.

There may not be a UFC event scheduled for Saturday, but beginning next week the fight company launches headlong into the heart of its 2015 schedule. Things are going to get a little crazy.

During the next 27 weeks, the organization will put on 25 of the 46 events scheduled for this year. They will come at a fast and furious pace. It will be a bonanza for fight enthusiasts, a breakneck sprint through a minimum of eight title fights, seven pay-per-views and an endless loop of smaller Fight Night events going down in far-flung locations from Virginia to Poland, New Jersey to the Philippines, Glasgow, Rio and Houston.

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USA Today

LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor is not a man known for his subdued nature.

McGregor is brash, from his newfound taste for expensively tailored suits to the over-the-top persona that has quickly turned him into one of the UFC's biggest stars. And he has backed it up in the Octagon thus far, putting together a streak of wins that will land him in the cage this summer in the headlining bout of the UFC's International Fight Week against featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo.

But mostly, McGregor is known for his personality and for the things he says when the cameras are on. Last week, while in Rio de Janeiro, McGregor spoke of how, in a different and much older time, he would ride into Aldo's favela on horseback and kill everyone who was not fit to work.

He has branded himself the king of the featherweights, and on Monday morning he told a gathering of reporters that he planned on leaving the division after beating Aldo, unless the rest of the top-10 featherweights lined up and apologized for offending him.

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USA Today

Many words have been written about Josh Koscheck since Saturday's loss to Erick Silva. Many more will be written in the coming days.

There is something about nostalgia that tugs at the heartstrings. Koscheck spent the better part of a decade being booed by UFC fans. From the moment he appeared on The Ultimate Fighter, Koscheck was The Bad Guy. There was something about him that rubbed us the wrong way, even if we couldn't figure out why, and even if we had no way of knowing if the Koscheck we saw on our television was the real thing.

But the thing about reality television is that it is not real at all.

Last year, I participated in the filming of a popular reality show here in Las Vegas. I was a massive fan of the show, and so I was ecstatic for the opportunity. But I was naive. There was almost no "reality" in the show, at all. It was scripted, with multiple takes and extras. The set wasn't even real. After a day of filming, I went home disappointed.

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Jason da Silva/USA Today

Not much of consequence happened at UFC Fight Night 62 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Not much of consequence could have.

It's become tradition for the UFC to travel to Brazil, find the cupboard bare of fighters with even a semblance of name recognition and simply toss together a collection of random parts and hope for the best. Sometimes it's a good time, with spectacular finishes making fans forget they are watching fighters they've never heard of. Sometimes, it's a dreadful, never-ending morass.

Sometimes, it's both.

In a new post-fight series, we'll look at the card as a whole and choose the five best and worst moments—the handful of things worth talking about on Twitter or at the water cooler if you are reading this from 1962.

Want to extend the bout from five rounds into infinity? That's what the comments are for. Make your voice heard.