Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) invaded T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada last night (Sat., Oct. 6, 2018) to stage a wild and crazy UFC 229 pay-per-view (PPV) event. In the headlining act, Khabib Nurmagomedov mauled Conor McGregor for four rounds before eventually sinking in a painful neck crank to force a tap (see it again here), holding on to his Lightweight title while handing Conor his second loss inside the Octagon.
In the co-main event, Anthony Pettis and Tony Ferguson duked it out in a highly-entertaining scrap which eventually ended after Anthony’s corner threw in the towel and refused to let “Showtime” answer the third round bell due to a broken hand (recap).
Biggest Winner: Khabib Nurmagomedov
Irish gorilla, meet professional bear wrestler. Khabib did what everybody expected him to do to McGregor once he got his hands on him. He took him down, mauled him and eventually submitted him. But, to add insult to injury, “The Eagle” — the wrestling wizard — out-struck “Notorious” — the “professional boxer.” Khabib standing and trading with Conor caught most people by surprise, myself included. I figured if he decided to roll the dice and play that game, Khabib would be seeing stars. And boy did he prove me and everybody wrong, clipping Conor with a lighting-quick strike that dropped him and had him retreating.
What’s even more impressive is that Khabib not once got rocked, once again winning every single round. I’m not condoning or applauding Khabib’s post-fight antics, but sometimes in real life you really do rub up against people who are “really about that life” when you call them out and insult them in the media any chance you get. Artem found that out a few months ago, Conor and his camp did as well. And spare me the “post-fight brawl marred his win” talk. Had it been Conor, “is normal,” would’ve been the echoing statement because after all, he’s worth the trouble and the headaches.
Runner Up: Derrick Lewis
On several occasions, Alexander Volkov had “Black Beast” defeated, even taking a bizarre timeout in the opening frame to inform the referee that Lewis was either seriously hurt or admitting to a fish hook or an eye poke. Either way it had me puzzled. Later in the fight, Volkov once against had Derrick on the ropes but couldn’t finish the visibly exhausted brawler. But when your facing a power puncher like Lewis, it isn’t over until the fat lady sings. And with only a few ticks left in the fight, Derrick unleashed a brutal right hand that floor the Russian, eventually clipping him two more times to knock him out cold and score a highly-impressive come from behind win (see it again here). I just can’t figure out if his comeback or his post-fight speech was the real MVP.
Biggest Loser: Conor McGregor
The bully got bullied, plain and simple. Love him or hate him, Conor is good for the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), as he brings eyeballs to the television set, butts to seats (even weigh-ins) and money to UFC’s bloated piggy bank. But, through all the trash talk, Conor simply didn’t have nothing to offer the bulldozer named Khabib, who had his way with him once the cage door slam shut. Even after “The Eagle” opted to stand-and-bang with him, “Notorious” couldn’t take advantage. It’s hard to call a man who is landing multi-million dollar sponsorship deals during fight week and scored an estimated $50 million check for his comeback fight a loser, but the loss will be a tough one to swallow for the biggest name in MMA. On the bright side, despite all of the post-fight mayhem, we get to see a rematch. Because what Conor wants, Conor gets, regardless of potential legal hiccups.
To get full UFC 229 play-by-play results and updates click here.