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T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barao will finally rematch on Saturday at UFC on Fox 16.

It's a repeat pairing the fight company has been trying to put together for more than a year, ever since Dillashaw shocked the world by taking the men's bantamweight title from Barao last May at UFC 173.

In the aftermath, their second meeting has been put off by a weight-cutting snafu (by Barao) and an injury (to Dillashaw). The former resulted in what stands as Dillashaw's only successful title defense to date, a win over newcomer and short-notice replacement Joe Soto at UFC 177.

Suffice to say, there's still a lot we stand to learn by watching Dillashaw and Barao go at it again. This fight should conclusively prove if what we witnessed last year was a true changing of the guard, or if it was just a dominant champion having one bad night.

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In trying to determine who is the UFC's most outspoken featherweight, it might take a while to consider Jose Aldo.

Conor McGregor's Gaelic gift of gab garners most of the headlines at 145 pounds. These days, you might even think of Frankie Edgar first after the former lightweight champion jumped on the lip of the Octagon to challenge McGregor at UFC 189 two weeks ago and then took to Twitter to compare the new interim champion to a cow the UFC must milk before Edgar leads him to slaughter.

But Aldo also talks—and when he does, there's no need to ask him how he really feels.

In fact, it's starting to seem like the one true king of the featherweight division is having a hard time not keeping it 100. Take Aldo's press conference last week in Brazil and the resulting video posted by MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz, which is pretty much 16 uninterrupted minutes of Aldo spitting hot fire on the major issues of the day (NSFW language in video and below):

USA Today

The UFC heavyweight division is a pretty weird place right now.

Weirder than normal, even.

It was hard to shake that strangeness on Wednesday night, watching 36-year-old UFC lifer Frank Mir fell 29-year-old powerhouse Todd Duffee like a stick of lumber in the main event of Fight Night 71.

The 265-pound class has long been one of the oldest, shallowest wells on the roster. This year, however, it’s starting to seem like—to borrow a phrase from new interim featherweight champ Conor McGregor—the distinguished elders of the heavyweight division aren’t just here to take part.

They’re here to take over.

Mir’s victory over Duffee was his second first-round stoppage in a row and his second this year, extending an improbable turnaround after he went 0-4 from 2012 to 2014. Even Mir seemed a bit surprised about how it all went down once he had a few minutes to reflect on it.

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Last weekend, Conor McGregor cemented himself as the biggest star in the UFC with his knockout win over Chad Mendes at UFC 189.

It was one for the history books, capping off a thrilling fight card that ranks among the best main cards in UFC history. The atmosphere, the crowd, the entrances: All of it set McGregor up to make a statement, and that's exactly what he did.

But then on Sunday, the UFC announced that McGregor would coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter against Urijah Faber. Social media groaned; why were the UFC so intent on overexposing McGregor? Wouldn't it be better to just put him on the sidelines for a few months, to make the fans desperate to see him?

To discuss the UFC's decision to name McGregor as a TUF coach, Jeremy Botter and Jonathan Snowden got together to answer the question: Is too much Conor McGregor a bad thing?

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Nobody makes a clean break.

If any knowledge can be gained from Tuesday’s announcement that 38-year-old Fedor Emelianenko is plotting a return to the cage, perhaps that’s it. It doesn’t seem to matter who you are or where you’re from, once MMA gets its hooks in you, it’s awfully hard to get free.

This is even true, it appears, for Emelianenko—the man who marched through a 12-year, 39-fight career during the sport’s golden age without ever showing us much more than a stoic gaze and a murderous right hand. It’s true for the guy who was already regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all time. It’s true for the guy who never gave any indication that he wanted anything other than to live simply in his obscure Russian hometown, surrounded by his family, friends and his religion.

If that guy can’t walk away? Man, it must be damn near impossible.

USA Today

Aside from questionable taste in chest tattoos, perhaps there are no obvious similarities between the UFC’s newest male superstar and its last one.

Yet, the further Conor McGregor stomps into the forefront of the MMA world, the more his meteoric journey is reminiscent of Brock Lesnar’s rise to power in the UFC six years ago—and maybe sniffs of Lesnar’s eventual fall, too.

Sound crazy? On the surface, these two men seem like complete opposites.

Lesnar was an enormous man from the upper Midwest, for starters. He was a brooding, disagreeable fighter who always seemed more at ease lugging a deer carcass through the underbrush than allowing mere mortals to ask him questions or take his picture. An NCAA champion at 23 and superstar pro wrestler by age 25, Lesnars lucrative athletic future was never really in doubt.

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On a UFC 189 fight card that at times felt like a flying leap into MMA’s future, Robbie Lawler served up an old-school slugfest in the evening’s co-main event.

It turns out you can drape Lawler in his brand-new Reebok “champion’s kit,” overhaul the pay-per-view broadcast with fancy retooled graphics and summon some technological wizardry to project hype videos on the actual floor of the Octagon, but the UFC welterweight champion is still going to do what he’s been doing since he was 19 years old.

Now 33, he just does it better than ever.

Lawler shifted through a number of familiar gears during the 21 minutes he spent in the cage with Rory MacDonald on Saturday night. He went from laid back to deadly serious and back again as the two put on a brawl that lifted an already stellar PPV.

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One way or another, we’re all going to get smarter.

No matter how things go for Conor McGregor against Chad Mendes on Saturday at UFC 189 in Las Vegas, we’ll come out of it with a clearer idea of what kind of fighter McGregor can truly be.

Until now, we’ve had to take his word for it. He’s jetted to a 5-0 record in the UFC and has dispatched everyone matchmakers have handed him with extreme prejudice. He had never fought anybody as good as Jose Aldo, his intended opponent, however, and—even now that the true featherweight champion is out with a rib injury—he’s never fought anybody like Mendes, either.

You might say this matchup is going to go a long way toward separating the facts from the fiction about McGregor. That’s important, since the brash Irishman has spent his entire UFC career spinning fantastical yarns about his own ability. If nothing else, it’ll be nice to finally do some fact-checking on McGregor’s wild tales.

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It’s always awkward when you know a fight promoter has a rooting interest.

In the case of Saturday’s UFC 189 main event between Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes, it doesn’t take a lick of guesswork to figure out what ownership wants to happen. We know it for a stone-cold fact, because the UFC’s first preference had already been on the books for months: to have McGregor fight Jose Aldo in a high-profile grudge match for the featherweight title.

The fight company had booked that fight, put it on billboards, produced a documentary series about it and bankrolled at least one stunning and pricey television commercial to advertise it.

In all, UFC President Dana White said the company spent $10 million promoting the fight. The more conspiracy-minded might even tell you the UFC had orchestrated it from the beginning, feeding McGregor a series of overmatched, stand-up-oriented opponents for the express purpose of quickly and publicly building him into the division’s top contender.

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The full extent to which the world was ignoring Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald didn’t hit home until the top trending topic of UFC 189 became Jose Aldo’s ribs.

That’s saying something, since we had already overlooked Saturday’s UFC Welterweight Championship fight between Lawler and MacDonald for months. From the moment the UFC made the pragmatic but precedent-bucking decision to make Aldo’s featherweight title defense against Conor McGregor this pay-per-view’s main event, we pretty much knew how things were going to go.

McGregor and Aldo got all the headlines. They got the “world tour.” They got the documentary series and the late-night talk show appearances.

Lawler and MacDonald? They got mostly bupkis.