Unless you live in a parallel universe you will be fully aware of the shenanigans that took place at the T-Mobile Arena in the early hours of this morning. With the post-mortem, debate and finger pointing more than likely raging on for the foreseeable future, it will be easy to forget that despite the shocking end to the evenings event, UFC 229 produced some outstanding fights and highlights.
Ferguson and Pettis go to war
With both Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis setting their sites on the UFC title, the winner of this bout was surely in-line to take on the winner of the evenings main event. With the outcome of the main event cemented firmly in UFC history for all the wrong reasons, a conversation by the powers that be needs to be had to determine what happens next in the chaotic Lightweight division.
That aside, Ferguson and Pettis both stepped up and produced the FOTN in what was unfortunately cut short at the end of the second round due to Pettis suffering a broken hand. In the proceeding 10 minutes, both Ferguson and Pettis showed why they are at the top of their respective games in what was a highly entertaining and wild fight. The first round was clearly Ferguson’s but Pettis showed his ability with a storming start to the second. At one point, a bloodied Pettis, was revelling in the battle while on top of Ferguson but unfortunately his thirst for battle was cut short prior to coming out for the third and final round.
You would be hard pushed to find a more diverse and dangerous fighter in the Lightweight division than Ferguson but with an 11-fight win streak rolling on, Ferguson will surely be top of the list when it comes to the next Lightweight title fight. Who that will be against remains to be seen.
Derrick Lewis shows why he’s a beast
It’s a fair assumption to say that Derrick Lewis left it late against the towering machine that is Alexander Volkov. With the Russian 11 seconds away from what would surely have been an all-round 30-27 unanimous victory, Lewis unleashed hell and showed why he really is a beast. Looking exhausted after taking some huge blows from Volkov, Lewis dug in and produced a worthy POTN bonus.
With only a matter of seconds remaining in the contest, Lewis floored Volkov with a heavy right hand. Once Volkov was down, Lewis pounced and gave Herb Dean little choice but to call a halt to proceedings as he knocked out the Russian with a series of heavy blows.
This victory throws Lewis firmly into the mix for a shot at the title with what was his ninth win in his last ten. Lewis himself proclaimed “Don’t keep underestimating me” and on this victory over a very dangerous opponent, you’d be hard pressed to disagree.
Aspen Ladd shines
On what was only her second fight in the UFC, highly rated Aspen Ladd showed why she is exactly that. With a pretty ruthless and savage POTN victory over the veteran, Tonya Evinger, Ladd showed no mercy in what was a fairly one-sided fight. Evinger showed moments early on with her “dirty boxing” style but Ladd soon took control. Once Ladd took the back of Evinger, it was game over. Unleashing a series of unanswered strikes, the fight was over at 3:26 of the first round.
At just 23 years of age, Ladd now moves onto a perfect record of 7-0, with 5 of those wins coming by way of KO. On last night’s evidence, it won’t be long before Ladd moves up the rankings and stakes a claim on the Bantamweight title.
Luque welcomes Turner to the UFC
Taking this Welterweight fight on just two weeks’ notice, Vicente Luque wasted no time in welcoming 23-year-old newcomer Jalin Turner to the UFC. Turner earned his shot in the promotion following a victory over Max Mustaki in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender series earlier in the year.
Turner looked calm and composed in the Octagon and didn’t seem overly concerned in the early exchanges. In fact, it was off the back of one of his own attacks that lead Turner to having his debut cut short. Following a spinning backfist by Turner, Luque countered with a heavy right which sent Turner to the canvas. Luque then unleashed a series of devasting left hand blows which knocked Turner out cold before the fight was officially stopped by referee, Dan Miragliotta.
UFC 229 RESULTS:
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Conor McGregor via submission (RNC) – Rd 4, 3:03
Tony Ferguson def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (corner stoppage) – Rd 2, 5:00
Dominick Reyes def. Ovince Saint Preux via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Derrick Lewis def. Alexander Volkov via KO (punches) – Rd 3, 4:49
Michelle Waterson def. Felice Herrig via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 30-27)
Jussier Formiga def. Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
Vicente Luque def. Jalin Turner via knockout (punches) – Rd 1, 3:52
Aspen Ladd def. Tonya Evinger via TKO (strikes) – Rd 1, 3:26
Scott Holtzman def. Alan Patrick via KO (elbows) – Rd 3, 3:42
Yana Kunitskaya def. Lina Lansberg via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nik Lentz def. Gray Maynard via TKO (kick, punches) – Rd 2, 1:19
Tony Martin def. Ryan LaFlare via TKO (kick, punches) – Rd 3, 1:00