Welcome to our coverage of UFC 229 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I will have coverage all night and a UFC 229 POST Show later this evening with Ziggy Cao & Phil Chertok on the site.
Tony Martin def. Ryan LaFlare by TKO at 1:00 of Round 3
In the first round, Martin landed a solid shot with his right hand and was a fairly close round. Martin dropped him with a right in the second round and dominated him for the rest of the round. There was a point where it looked LaFlare may have momentarily gone out. Martin took that momentum into the third and finished LaFlare with a head kick and several unnecessary followup shots.
Martin cut a profanity-laced promo after the fight and screamed about wanting bigger fights. He sounded like a maniac.
Nik Lentz def. Gray Maynard by TKO at 1:19 of Round 2
This was domination by Nik Lentz. The first round saw Lentz annihilate Maynard with right hands and then took him down and attempted a guillotine that Maynard escaped from. Lentz was attacking with big punches and knees at the end for a 10-8 opening round. They traded big strikes in the second with Lentz getting the better of it. Lentz dropped him with a head kick and the fight was waved off.
Lentz mentioned Brett Kavanaugh and congratulated him in his post-fight speech.
Yana Kunitskaya def. Lina Lansberg by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
Kunitskaya won the first round with a takedown into half-guard. Lansberg worked her way back to their feet and was thrown to the mat with Kunitskaya landing in side control. Kunitskaya ended the round with several big strikes.
The second round was another round for Kunitskaya. She relied on push kicks and clinching with Lansberg while throwing knees.
Kunitskaya continued with her game plan in the third round and secured a takedown off the fence. Kuntiskaya worked around her jab and got another takedown at the end of the fight. I had it as an easy 30-27 decision for Kunitskaya.
Scott Holtzman def. Alan Patrick by KO at 3:42 of Round 3
Holtzman won the opening round with a head kick Patrick absorbed and several right hands that landed flush. In the second round, Holtzman took him down and delivered strikes inside the guard of Patrick and was definitely ahead going into Round 3.
Holtzman dropped Patrick with a right hand and followed up with shots but Patrick survived. Holtzman moved to mount, lost the position but worked back to it and finished Patrick with four devastating elbows to the face from mount.
Aspen Ladd def. Tonya Evinger by TKO at 3:26 of Round 1
Ladd was put up against the fence by Evinger but when they went to the mat the fight changed. Ladd started landing strikes from the side and eventually took her back with the hooks applied. After moving to mount, Ladd didn’t relent with huge strikes to the side of the head until the fight was stopped.
A very impressive outing from Ladd and she improves to 7-0.
Vicente Luque def. Jalin Turner by KO at 3:52 of Round 1
Luque was active with his left hands and landing with them throughout the opening round. Turner was countering and trying to keep pace with Luque. Turner connected with a spinning back elbow but it left him open for a pair of counter rights that put Turner’s back on the canvas. Luque destroyed him with shots and Turner went out.
Jussier Formiga def. Sergio Pettis by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
This was a dull fight where Formiga was able to implement his style and Pettis was left without any answers.
Pettis had his best round in the first but it was offset by Formiga getting two takedowns.
In the second round, Formiga used the single leg to get a body lock takedown and remained on top until the final seconds of the round.
The third round was strange as Formiga leaped onto the back of a standing Pettis and remained on his back for almost the full round. I scored every round for Formiga and I’m not sure how you could score a 10-8, especially under the old rules that Nevada follows.
Michelle Waterson def. Felice Herrig by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)
The first round was close but it was Waterson’s sidekicks that seemed to be the difference. Herrig tied her up in the clinch for the latter portion of Round 1. Waterson connected with a shot in the second round and threw her over to the mat and controlled on top for the remainder. In the third round, Herrig took her down but it was all Waterson off her back with a series of elbows. They were stood up and Waterson connected with a big push kick to the face.
I scored it 30-27 for Waterson but the first round was very close.
Derrick Lewis def. Alexander Volkov by KO at 4:49 of Round 3
The first round was entertaining. Volkov connected and swarmed Lewis with strikes, he was covering up but chased Volkov away with a looping shot that missed. Volkov resumed his striking and then they had a bizarre break in the action as Lewis tended to his eye and Volkov stopped fighting, but there was no eye poke. Volkov took him down with a body lock takedown and landed some short elbows. Lewis reversed and landed some big shots on top.
Volkov wobbled him at the start of the second round and continued with his jab to the right eye of Lewis. Volkov slowed down but was still the aggressor with jabs and front kicks.
Lewis’ corner said he needs to stop Volkov in the third round.
Volkov landed an uppercut and followed with several shots that Lewis absorbed in the third round. Volkov connected with a pair of kicks to the body. Lewis was trying to go for broke but Volkov evaded. Lewis rocked him with a right hand and Volkov walked through it.
Lewis hit a clean right that dropped Volkov and he got on top with bombs and he finished the fight with seconds to go. Lewis was way behind and was about to lose by decision and he got the stoppage win.
The post-fight interview with Joe Rogan was tremendous and included Lewis explaining why he took his pants off (his balls were hot), a phone call he received from President Trump, not having the gas tank for a title fight yet and wanting to smoke weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Dominick Reyes def. Ovince Saint Preux by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
Reyes looked tremendous and won every round.
In the first round, he lit up Saint Preux with a wide variety of strikes and connected with a flurry of elbows to the side of the head as Saint Preux worked for a takedown against the cage. Reyes landed 44 head strikes and outstruck him 61-6 in the round.
Reyes slowed down in the second round, but still controlled the round with his kicks and outstriking Saint Preux.
The third round saw Reyes thwart the takedown attempts. In the final seconds, Saint Preux was dropped with a left hand and it looked like a knockout but the horn sounded and it went to the judges even though it seemed like a knockout.
You could argue that both Rounds 1 and 3 were 10-8 rounds.
Reyes fought a great fight and upped his stock significantly in a division hungry for contenders.
Tony Ferguson def. Anthony Pettis by TKO at 5:00 of Round 2
This will be a contender for fight-of-the-year and was an instant classic.
Ferguson won the first round through his inside leg kicks and big flurry at the end after a jump off the cage.
The second round may be the best round of 2018. Pettis rocked Ferguson and both appeared to be cut. Pettis has a massive cut on his hairline and was bleeding over Ferguson. The doctor checked on Pettis and allowed Ferguson to recover.
Ferguson dominated the latter half of Round 2 by pressing Pettis against the fence and teeing off on him. He showed no signs of fatigue and was relentless with his strikes.
In between rounds, Duke Roufus said the fight was over when they learned Pettis had a broken hand.
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Conor McGregor by neck crank submission at 3:03 of Round 4 to retain the UFC lightweight title
In the first round, McGregor tried to draw out Nurmagomedov into a striking battle. Nurmagomedov got the takedown and was in control for the rest of the round and took the round.
The second round was even more dominant by Nuramogomedov because he got McGregor down and lit him up with strikes. McGregor survived the round but it was a 10-8 round for Nurmagomedov.
McGregor had his best round in the third and edged Nurmagomedov in the striking battle. This included an uppercut and head kick. Nurmagomedov was landing too but I felt McGregor won the round.
Nurmagomedov took down McGregor in the fourth round and was able to secure a neck crank and McGregor tapped.
In celebrating, Nurmagomedov jumped to the floor and went after McGregor’s teammates and a riot nearly ensued. A member of Nurmagomedov’s team landed a punch on McGregor. It was serious enough they wouldn’t present the title to Nurmagomedov for fear that the audience would revolt.
Between this and bus incident, this fight generated two of the ugliest scenes in MMA history.